Children are surprisingly adept at picking up on emotions so many children learn to fear a visit to the dentist from their parents. Overcoming a child’s dental anxiety is a combination of guidance, example and information and should begin at an early age.
Most experts in childhood dental anxiety recommend a first check-up and visit to a dentist as soon as the first teeth start to develop which can be as early as six months of age. The best method of alleviating a child’s fear is to:
– Schedule a first visit to a child-friendly dentist when the first teeth start to emerge. The earlier a child gets used to these visits, the more relaxed he or she will be.
– Never mention or associate pain with a dental visit, when talking with your family. Leave explanations to the dentist who has training in this regard.
– Never exhibit any personal fear or anxiety regarding dental visits as this can easily be transmitted to the child.
It is also crucial to select a dentist “who has a child-friendly practice” and a proven track record in treating children and younger patients. This can be done through recommendations from friends, relatives and colleagues or by visiting the dental practice for a conversation with the dentist and staff members.