Boundary Implant Centre

Dr S. Boji

The digital smile clinic

When do I start taking my child to the dentist?

When do I start taking my child to the dentist?

For many adults when we see them, we often find out that their fears and anxieties started when we were children, but thankfully this is preventable.

When it is time you introduce your child to the dentist can be a good and happy time.

Here are some tips to help avoid your child picking up on your fears.

Start bringing them in as soon as you can.

The earlier you start their appointments when they’re young, the better off they will be in the future. The more frequent you have trips to the dentist, the more your child will learn that it’s not something to fear.

We recommend bring them in when you are seeing a dentist and going for check-ups. However, have someone with you if you are having a clean and polish too, this can often be too much for them. We say ask a friend/family member to take them off at this stage…around 8 months-1 year is a good time.

You can also get books and online videos too with ways to introduce the dentist to your children before they come along.

This is important because by the time they’re five or six, they will know what to expect. If you take them for the first time when they’re five and introduce them to that scary world, they could have some bad memories associated with the dentist.

However, if they’ve been going, they will most likely just see it as part of life rather than this whole new, strange world.

 

Keep the use of  negative words to a minimum

We all do it without realising but using negative words when talking about the dentist, but you should try and be mindful of what words you choose.

Words not to use are ones such “ pain or hurting” . It is very important of course not to lie to your children, but you want to make sure you’re giving them an idea of what’s going to happen beforehand.

Always stay calm too. If your child sees you panicking, they will start to pick up on your anxiety.

The use of bribes and treats

We all do it at times but when taking your child to the Dentist, make sure that you try not to use bribes. This also teaches them that the dentist can be a scary experience worthy of rewarding.

We may not realise but calling them “brave” and giving treats creates  the mind set that they should be scared when they really have no need to be.

By explaining why we go and what it is, you’re teaching them that this is just something that happens on a regular basis, and they shouldn’t be scared of it.

Simple rewards like the good old sticker are perfect

But you need to be careful with how you do it.

 

Your children copy you so set a good example

If you are nervous about going to the dentist for yourself, your child will most likely pick up on that anxiety. You need to make sure you watch what you say about the dentist because they will be listening to you.

Make sure that you talk about only good things that happened with the dentist and never bring up anything bad that happened.

Good habits start at home so Practice Good Dental Hygiene from a young age.

One of the best things you can do for your child is to make sure that your child’s teeth are already good to go before the appointment.

Make sure that they brush twice a day this will make their visits more enjoyable because they may not need a dental filling.

Also keep them on a low sugar diet, avoid fizzy drinks and snacking throughout the day. Our mouths have a natural protection method, called “buffer action” but your mouth needs time to repair between eating. If you graze all day your mouth never recovers, and decay can form.

Having those experiences such as needing fillings or extractions early on as a child can install those negative memories in your child’s head.