Help Children Overcome Fear of the Dentist

happy childrenParents are responsible for introducing their children to dental hygiene and oral health care. Teaching them to brush and floss their teeth every day is one of the first and most important experiences in their young lives, but a lifetime of good oral health care also involves routine visits to the dentist’s office. For many children, the first dentist’s visit can be disconcerting, surrounded by strangers and not knowing what to expect. To help your children overcome their fear of the dentist, your Cupertino family dentist, Dr. Randall LaFrom, offers these tips to make their first visit less intimidating.

Get an Early Start

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends bringing your child to the dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than the first birthday. These initial visits, and subsequent checkups and cleanings, will help children become familiar with the dentist’s office, where all of their routine and emergency dental needs are met. At LAFROM DENTISTRY, we encourage our parents to bring their child in for a simple FIRST initial visit where we count their teeth, squirt water into their mouth, let them get comfortable being in the chair and having a light on their mouth.

Keep it Vague

At some point, your child will ask you what the dentist’s visit is all about (hopefully, you told your child beforehand that you were going to the dentist). Try not to use too descriptive language or include many details. You may raise more questions, and the answers can seem frightening to an inexperienced child. Also, don’t use words like “shot,” “hurt,” “pain,” or “discomfort.” Dr. LaFrom and our caring staff will develop a less-threatening vocabulary to help your child through difficult situations.

Do a Dry Run

Nothing teaches better than experience. Experts warn, however, that bringing your child to your own dental visit before he/she has ever visited one isn’t a good idea. The sights and sounds, which likely won’t be geared towards a child’s comfort, can increase fear and anxiety. To lessen your child’s curiosity and apprehension, try doing a practice run at home, where you play the dentist. Just make sure to avoid any drill sounds, or introducing any new “instruments” that are unfamiliar.

Learn More with Your Cupertino Family Dentist

To learn more about helping your child through their first dental visit, schedule a visit with Dr. LaFrom by calling your Cupertino family dentist’s office today at (408) 996-8595. Located in the 95014 area, we proudly serve patients from Cupertino, Saratoga, Campbell, Sunnyvale, San Jose, Santa Clara County, Silicon Valley, and the surrounding communities.

~ by cupertinodentist on September 18, 2013.

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