Pediatric dentistry takes a holistic approach to ensuring the oral health of young patients. An important aspect of this approach involves providing guidance to parents.Infants and toddlers cannot take care of their teeth without help. They rely on their parents for oral hygiene. As they grow, children also need their parents to teach and enforce…
Preparing Your Three-Year-Old for a Pediatric Dentistry Visit
Both parents and young children feel anxiety during the first few pediatric dentistry visits the youngster undergoes. Fortunately, there are certain things that parents can do to ease any nerves they and their young child feel before an appointment with the dentist. Taking these steps is a great way to make the process as easy as possible.
How to prepare for a pediatric dentistry visit
It is essential to establish healthy habits in young children when going to the dentist to avoid any issues with dental anxiety or phobia as they grow older. The following are four useful tips on how to prepare your three-year-old for the first few pediatric dentistry visits.
Explain what to expect
A great place to start in the preparation process is ensuring your young child knows what to expect before the visit. Of course, since they are young, the explanation should be in terms little ones can understand. However, using simple and direct language, such as “check your teeth” and “see how you are doing,” can give the child an idea of what will take place. A common mistake parents make is avoiding any explanation they feel their child may not understand, but children pick up more than one might expect and knowing what will happen can be very helpful.
Arrive at the dentist on time
Another useful tip is to arrive at the dentist early or at least on time. Nothing can increase dental anxiety of both the parent and the child more than rushing to the appointment. By planning to leave early, parents can sidestep urging their children to get ready faster to avoid being late. Choosing a time of day for the appointment when the child is usually rested and congenial also makes good sense. Some parents might find it more convenient to visit early in the morning while others may feel it is more beneficial to schedule time in the evening or on the weekend.
Stay positive and in good spirits
Children are great at picking up the attitude of their parents. If the parent is nervous, then the young child is likely to be apprehensive as well. Subsequently, parents should do all they can to stay positive, give encouragement and remain in a good mood to make the process easier for the child. Getting up early, preparing a meal for the child and offering reassurance can help a great deal.
Reward the child for being brave
Finally, be sure to reward your three-year-old after making it through the visit. This helps ensure the child is confident and perhaps even looking forward to the next dental appointment. You can either discuss the prize in advance as an incentive or make it a surprise after a successful visit, which could prove even more beneficial.
Talk to a pediatric dentist to learn more
Finding the right pediatric dentist who is good with children is essential. Here at our pediatric dentistry office, we have a team of kid-friendly dental professionals who can help children remain calm and in good spirits during their visit.
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