Let’s face it. The thought of going to a dentist scares most people young and old alike. Many of these fears stem from what we see, hear, or read about dentists. If we grow up with parents who are frightened of a dental visit, we’ll most likely end up adopting the same fears ourselves. Movies and TV shows also give dentists a bad rap with portrayals of scary-sounding drills, painful tooth extractions, and horrid-looking needles. So, how do you make your child’s first dental visit a pleasant and less scary experience?Here are some tips:

1. Start them young.

Kids don’t feel as apprehensive visiting a paediatrician that they’ve seen since they were babies. This feeling of familiarity brings down any barriers of fear. In the same manner, if you take your child to a dentist or oral health therapist at an early age, the likelihood of developing any dental fears when they grow older is much less. It is best that you take your little one to have a dental check-up as soon as the first tooth comes out or before your baby turns one.

pediatric dentist checking boy's teeth

2. Consider seeing a paediatric dentist or oral health therapist.

Paediatric dentists and oral health therapists are trained specifically to manage and treat a child’s developing teeth and how they relate to a child’s behaviour, physical growth and development, and other dental needs.Their clinics are designed with the child in mind — colourful decors,books, and toys to keep them entertained and at ease. They also use smaller instruments suitable for young patients.

3. Talk to your kids about what to expect.

Most fears are born out of the unknown. If kids know what to expect on their first dental visit, they would feel less anxious. So talk to your child about how the first dental visit will be like. Tell him or her that it will be a brief one. The friendly dentist and oral health therapist will check his or her teeth for any signs of decay as well as the gums and jaws for any future dental problems.

mom talking to her son

4. Conquer your own fears and stay positive.

Children are well attuned to their parents’ feelings. If you are anxious about visiting a dentist or oral health therapist, your child could very well become nervous about it too. Overcome your own emotions and stay positive. Teach your kid that there is nothing to fear and focus on the benefits of visiting the dental clinic. If you’re unable to conquer your own fear, ask your spouse, a family member or a friend to take your child to the dental appointment.

5. Schedule an early appointment.

Children are more active and alert in the morning. Afternoons are more challenging when kids become sleepy, tired, irritable and less responsive. Schedule your child’s first dental appointment in the morning. It would also help if you bring along your child’s comfort blanket or toy to keep him or her calm. Your child’s first dental visit shouldn’t be a stressful experience. At Coburg Hill Oral Care,our warm and welcoming environment helps your child feel comfortable. Call us now to book an appointment with one of our friendly and experienced dentists and oral health therapists.