As a parent, it can be a little overwhelming to picture your toddler sitting in a dental chair. Will they be scared? How will they act? How will YOU act?
You are right to be concerned because the first few visits are crucial for setting the tone for future oral health care. Your dentist obviously plays an important role, but the success of these visits often depends on your own feelings about dental care.
A recent survey indicates that parents who suffer from dental anxiety often pass their fear onto their children. Over 1,300 parents participated in the survey, and 48% of them reported that they were afraid of the dentist. Interestingly, about 47% of the children surveyed also expressed fear about dental visits. This can cause a lifetime dread of dental visits, which will result in ongoing oral health problems.
If you don’t want your child to be saddled with the same fear you experience, here are a few things to keep in mind:
The American Dental Association recommends visits when the first tooth appears, but no later than the first birthday. Arrange with your dentist to stop by for a few casual visits just to meet the dentist and get used to unfamiliar surroundings.
Keep It to Yourself
It’s essential that your child not pick up on your fears. Resist the urge to share past experiences and inadvertently pass your anxious feelings on to your child.
It may be impossible for you to imagine a dental visit as fun. But your job is to help your child see dental visits as an exciting adventure, not a chore to be endured. Avoid words like “hurt,” “pain,” and “needles.” Instead, focus on developing a positive association with dentistry for your child.
Find a Fairfax Dentist You’re Comfortable With
If you live in Fairfax, VA and are looking for an experienced children’s dentist, please call Dr. Fairfax & Associates. We will be more than happy to arrange a time for you and your child to visit our office. Our team of caring professionals will work with your child to ensure they get the best possible start with their oral health care.