Most children start having regular dental visits from their first birthday, but it can be challenging to take your child to a kids dentist Jacksonville if even the thought of sitting in a dental chair leaves him or her terror-stricken. While it’s understandable if your little one has had dental work previously, you may be unsure what to do if this fear has appeared from nowhere. Nevertheless, oral health in children is too important to ignore. Problems with baby teeth can develop into long-term issues when permanent teeth come through, so here are three ways you can help get your child over his or her nerves.
1. Meet the Dentist
Some dentists schedule welcome meetings for children so they can get acquainted with the dental office and team and, hopefully, get any pre-appointment dental anxiety out of the way. Even if that’s not possible, take a look at your dentist’s website; it usually has pictures of the team so you can show your child who will be treating him or her. That way, they won’t be total strangers when they meet for the first time.
2. Stage a Dress Rehearsal
Often, a child is more scared of the thought of the visit than the visit itself. Try staging a mock dental examination to help alleviate any worries. Set your child up in a chair and act out what the dentist will do on the day, from looking at each tooth to cleaning and flossing.
3. Talk Through His or Her Worries
What is it that scares your child? Sometimes, a heart-to-heart chat can get to the root of the problem. Maybe your child has seen a television program about a scary dentist character, or perhaps a school friend (or older sibling) has filled your little one’s head with horror stories. Understanding why your child is scared will give you a greater chance of successfully moving on from it.
While not every visit to the dentist is straightforward, most of them are — especially if you keep up regular dental visits. Helping your child get past his or her anxiety will pave the way for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.