Most people wouldn’t put a visit to the dentist on the top of their list of “most fun things to do”, but getting regular dental treatment is essential for optimal health in your mouth and your body overall. Sometimes, though, children can develop a fear of visiting a Saratoga Springs dentist, either after a negative experience, or simply sensing fear in others around them, such as parents or siblings. Whether your child has already developed a fear of the dentist, or you want to get an early start to prevent it, there are a few things you can do to help them get the oral care they need.
Schedule the First Visit Young
Dental experts recommend that children should see the dentist for the first time by their first birthday, or when their first tooth erupts from their gums (whichever occurs first). When you take a child to an Eagle Mountain dentist starting at a young age, the visits are often simple, and could even be fun. Having a “dental home” from the time you are young can help children feel safe and secure, which can reduce anxiety.
Don’t Go Into Detail
Kids might have a lot of questions about the dentist, but it’s better for parents to avoid going into too much detail about what the child can expect. Talking too much about the details of a dental visit could cause unnecessary anxiety ahead of the visit, especially if your child has no frame of reference for what the procedure might be like. In addition, you may inadvertently use words that could cause a problem, such as ‘shot’, ‘hurt’, or ‘pain’. The staff at the Saratoga Springs dentist’s office will be able to talk to kids in the right way.
Use “Pretend Visits”
Some parents think it might be a good idea to take their children to their own dental visits to allow them to see how it works, but be careful with this. You may have your own dental anxieties that your child will pick up on and could cause them to be afraid of their own visit. Instead, have a pretend visit with your child before their actual visit and talk about how the dentist is going to check your child’s smile and count teeth. Of course, if you do this, keep it simple and don’t talk about drills or other instruments that could seem intimidating.
Consider Sedation Dentistry
For some children, there isn’t anything you can do to help them get over the fear of the dentist. In these cases, some parents will avoid taking their child because it’s too much of a hassle. The problem is that avoiding regular check-ups can lead to dental decay that requires even more extensive procedures in the future, and those are likely to be more painful and harder, which will only reinforce your child’s fears.
In that case, sedation dentistry might be the best option for you. Sedation dentistry techniques range from fairly simple to more in-depth, depending on the procedure your child needs. With conscious sedation your child will feel relaxed and calm, but will not be “under” anesthesia, so it works well for procedures like filling cavities, cleanings, and tooth extractions. In many cases your child won’t remember much or any of the procedure. General anesthesia would be reserved for more complex procedures.
These procedures, when done by a trained dental staff, are approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Dental Association.
To find out more about this option, visit a Saratoga Springs dentist that specializes in pediatric dental care and sedation today.