Teaching Your Child To Accept Treatment
Dentist’s offices usually aren’t the most inviting places in the world.
They’re normally cold, impersonal, and uninviting – at least, that’s how you remember them.
For kids, the dentist’s office can be all of those things and more. Scary-looking instruments, people wearing masks over their mouths, strange machines making strange sounds. It can all be quite an overwhelming experience for them.
Letting that anxiety get in the way of their oral health isn’t an option. As a parent, you know that nothing should prevent them from getting the kind of professional, gentle family dentistry they deserve. Until they hit puberty, your children are highly susceptible to orthodontics treatments because their facial bones haven’t fully set – on the flipside, they are also more vulnerable to a number of oral health problems.
Yet you also don’t want to traumatize your little one with all of the unfamiliar sights and sounds of your Millburn dentist’s office. One bad experience is all that it will take to turn them off from going to the dentist. That can lead to similar behavior when they get older, causing them serious health problems as adults.
I will definitely do my best to make sure that, once your family is with us, they will receive the highest quality care in all of Essex County. My staff and I are passionate about making our patients comfortable no matter their age, and we excel in putting children’s fears to bed.
That is only half the equation, however. There are other things that you can be doing in the home to make sure that your children are in the best possible mindset in order to receive oral treatments.
If you can’t get your children into that mindset, then it can make it difficult for me to do my job by having to pick up your slack. If we work together, then we can kick dental anxiety to the curb and deliver the best smiles for your entire family!
Tips To Ease Dental Anxiety
I’m not asking you to become a dental expert overnight to ease your child’s fears – in fact, that can be counterproductive.
If you can follow these simple steps, then you can ensure the smoothest possible visit when you come to see me for that critical smile-saving procedure:
- Answer questions without detail – Your child will naturally be curious about their first trip to the dentist. That’s good! But what you don’t want to do is give them so much detail that their imaginations can run away with them. Save the big questions for me – I’ll know the answers, anyway, and I have years of experience explaining what I do to kids of all ages.
- Avoid mentioning pain – The last you want to do is plant the idea of pain and suffering into your child’s mind, as that will prime them to expect the worst, not to mention push them toward a fear response that can be difficult to recover from in time. Redirect those questions as best as you can until I can see them.
- Don’t mention any painful experiences of your own – It goes without saying, but your children look up to you. It’s worth mentioning because, if you tell them about how painful your experience was with a dentist in your past, then how can they believe they’ll be stronger than their parents? Keep a strong face for them.
- Emphasize the dentist’s role – I’m here to help. When you talk to your child about their upcoming appointment with me, let them know that! They should think of me as the Good Doctor Man who will help them keep their gums and their teeth in tip-top shape.
- No rewards! – It might sound odd, but if you promise your child a toy or another prize for a successful trip to the dentist, you are starting bad habits. For one, they can become entitled to expect a reward when they shouldn’t; the best reward for going to the dentist is a healthy, perfect smile. Secondly, they could attempt to bypass good behavior with a temper tantrum as a shortcut to the reward, as well.
Practicing these tips in advance of your next appointment with me will go a long, long way to establishing a good working relationship between my practice and your family.
All that’s left is to schedule that appointment, and get your family the care they need. You can call me (973) 957-1604, or you can request an appointment online through this website.