Having proper dental care for your children is important in their development. Unfortunately, children, more than anyone else, are likely to develop a fear of the dentist. As such, their first dental visit is the most important so that they don't develop a lifelong fear of dental care. There are a lot of things you can do to ensure that your child's first visit instills in them a healthy relationship with dental professionals.

The Role You Can Take In Your Child's Dental Care

It's actually quite easy to ease your child into the world of dental care, you can...

  • Start Early - Your child is less likely to develop negative associations with a dental visit if you start them before their memory starts to become firm. That way dental care will seem as something they've always done and will be a less abnormal affair for them.

  • Keep It Simple - Your child will probably be curious about the dentist. Try to keep your answers simple, yet direct. Let the dentist explain the actual inner workings of dentistry to your child if they're curious. As dentist are generally trained to describe procedures in a child-friendly way that won't scare them.

  • Watch What You Say - Compounding with the above knowledge, avoid saying negative wording in order not to scare your child. Words like 'hurt', 'pain', 'discomfort', or 'shot' can put your child at edge as they expect their visit to be uncomfortable. Instead, let the dentist inform your child as they go.

  • Keep To Yourself - Relating past dental experiences to a child might seem like a good idea. However, with their vivid imaginations they might get nervous and envision the dentist being worse than it actually is. Generally it's recommended to explain pleasant experiences, but steer clear of the unpleasant ones.

  • Don't Show Fear Yourself - Children are rather perceptive. They can usually tell if you feel uncomfortable in a situation, which in turn makes them nervous as well. If you get a case of the jitters for your first visit, consider seeking a calmer family member to go with them on their visit.

  • Do Not Bribe Your Child - Offering a child a treat for behaving at the dentist office is generally not recommended . This can lead to them pondering why you'd need to give them a treat in the first place, making them nervous. This also is counterintuitive if you give your child a sugary treat after the experience. As this can send the wrong message after their dentist warns them to avoid sweets.

Hopefully with these little tidbits you can avoid having a harrowing experience at the dentist with your child. Remember, a good experience will set them well on their way for a life filled with a good relationship with dental professionals.