Helping Your Child Overcome Fear of the Dentist

Best Techniques for a Happy First Timer

Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child’s first visit to the dentist is by age 1, or within six months of the eruption of his or her first tooth? However, many parents are not aware of this recommendation or are somewhat apprehensive themselves.

It turns out that 2.6 years is the average age of a child’s first visit, as a survey declared. Hence, many children have not seen a dentist until well after the time recommended.

As a parent, you may be unsure how your child will react at his first time at the dentist’s. Your own fearful experience might have been communicated without you realizing it. You might have deferred it for too long especially if your child has issues of his own. All you want is to make him comfortable on his first appointment so that succeeding visits will be a breeze. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started and with less anxieties.

Firstly, you must be seen by your child as the perfect role model of dental health. Show him how you take care of your own teeth and gums. Encourage him in the proper home care of his teeth and gums and to be responsible about doing it regularly everyday. Tell him why it’s important and the benefits for him.

You can bring your child to your dental appointments to appreciate the surroundings and to interact with friendly staff. It must be a place he will feel at ease. Or you can play act the role of dentist-patient, with available toys that can serve as tools of the trade. Play time must be exciting and fun to prick his interest. Your dialogue must always be happy and positive.

Instill in your child trust in the dentists and his staff, that they are nice, friendly and helpful. If a procedure needs to be done, don’t say everything will be ok if he is bound to feel discomfort. Just be by his side, providing comfort and assurance.

Lastly, be aware of the recommended age of first visit – either by first birthday or first tooth out time. The earlier you expose your child to the dentist, the sooner will he appreciate the encounter. This will also limit the issues to light ones and prepare the child for more complex procedures in the future.

Happy First Encounters in Bellevue

Bring your child to Overlake Dental for his first, happy dental experience. We know children so well, they become our patient-friends for a long, long time. That’s only here at Bellevue.