One of the best ways to help your child be comfortable at the dentist is to start young. Parents are the first dental caregivers and practicing good homecare makes dental care a part of your child’s routine. Dental visits can be as early as one year of age, it is usually a short visit in which your child gets acquainted with the dentist and their office.
Kids like to know what to expect and are more comfortable if things are explained, but remember when you are describing dental visits to stick to the facts. Share your own positive experiences, and leave out your own fears and worries. Often a child’s anxiety at the dentist is because of what they heard, not what has happened. Try to use positive language and avoid words that are frightening like pain or hurt- avoid phrases like “it won’t hurt”, use instead “we want to have happy healthy teeth”.
Avoid bribery, it sends a message that going to the dentist is something difficult that has to be endured, use praise and encouragement to help make things more comfortable for your child. Good homecare, a healthy diet and regular dental visits help many children grow up with minimal dental treatment outside of check-ups and cleanings. It is important that children know that any dental treatment is a way to keep their teeth working well and feeling good.