It’s common for children to experience anxiety or fear when visiting the dentist. As a parent, it can be challenging to manage your child’s anxiety and help them feel more comfortable during their dental visits. However, there are several techniques and strategies you can use to make your child’s visit to their Long Island pediatric dentist a stress-free and positive experience.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children see a pediatric dentist no later than their first birthday. This is important for several reasons, but when it comes to managing anxiety, seeing a dentist early in age can help kids become familiar with the environment and establish a positive relationship with their dentist. Additionally, seeing your pediatric dentist in Long Island for checkups every six months can help your child become comfortable with the process, which can reduce their anxiety in the long run.
As a parent, you know that what you say and what you do can impact your child’s feelings towards different things, including the dentist. So even if you’re a little bit afraid of the dentist yourself (it’s normal!), try to avoid using negative words or phrases that may scare your child. Instead, be positive when talking about dental appointments and use reassuring language to help them feel more comfortable. You can also praise your child for their bravery and positive behavior during the appointment.
Explain the Process
Simply explaining to your child what to expect at a dental appointment can go a long way in easing any fear they may have. One of the best ways we’ve found to do this is to role-play in the comfort of your home. Take turns playing dentist and patient, count teeth, look at teeth and tongues in a mirror, or have your child’s favorite toy attend his first dental visit to show off just how comfortable, easy, and fun it can be.
Distractions can be an effective way to help children manage their anxiety during dental visits. Talk with your pediatric dentist about what you could bring along to appointments. Some items to consider are a favorite toy, book, or music player to help kids focus on something else.
Choose the Best Pediatric Dentist in Long Island for Your Little One
Going to any type of doctor’s appointment as a child can be scary and stressful, including taking a trip to the dental office. However, a little bit of research and asking around can help you find the best pediatric dentist for your child. See what friends and family say, read online reviews, and even call a few offices to hear their personalities. Finding a dentist that your child can relate to and can be comfortable with is a crucial part of making future dental visits a breeze.
If your child is experiencing dental anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We can work with you to develop a customized plan to help your child feel more comfortable during their dental appointments. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.