So, you’ve booked that appointment! If you are slightly or majorly “dentalphobic” you start getting a little nervous. Will my child be ok? Will it be painful? Maybe I should let my baby know everything will be fine and so on and so forth.
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind to make this a great experience for everyone at the dentist!
(We have compiled this list based on how we treat our little patients at Wiggly Teeth)
1. Children that have never been to the dentist only have secondary experience. Through what they hear you say and what the hear and see around them. Stay away from books and Tv programming that try and motivate your kids to brush teeth using fear. Same goes for you, never ever say things like “if you don’t brush your teeth I’m going to take you to the dentist and they will put a BIG injection and pull out your teeth”. You are inducing fear although your intentions are good.
Don’t talk about your own fear or bad experiences in front of them.
2. Children can pick up on your vibe, so stay calm. Dentistry has changed. Its not all injections and extractions. And the dentist (especially at Wiggly Teeth) is not a white coat clad, masked demon… So, go through the our websiteand Facebook page and show your kid (and yourself) photos of the practice and the dentists. Seeing photos of other kids having fun will also make them excited.
3. You wouldn’t tell them “it won’t be sore/ painful”, “no one will hurt you” if you were going to buy shoes so why do that before the dentist? The first appointment usually is just a consultation where the dentist will ask your child to open their mouth and use a mirror to check the teeth. So please, before the appointment tell them how excited you are that your child has a dentist appointment and how much fun they will have! Ask them “do you think the dentist will give you a sticker? Or a balloon?” Give them something to look forward to!
4. At the appointment, the dentists at Wiggly Teeth will assess your child to determine the child’s limits. If the child is happy and comfortable then a clean and polish can be done. Please DO NOT force your child or the dentist to do things that you think need to be done. If your child needs a filling we first make sure they are comfortable on the chair before attempting anything. With some kids it is in the first 5 mins and with some children, it takes a couple of appointments before they are ready. Some kids are just too sensitive or young and some kids have had bad experiences in the past which makes it very difficult (not to mention dangerous) for us to do extensive work on. Forcing a child can end up making the experience unpleasant and they will end up hating the dentist as well.
5. We encourage good communication between the child’s dentist and the parents so that your fears and queries can be satisfied. If you are comfortable with the dentist chances that your child will be comfortable are also higher.
6. Our patient forms have a section where you can put down issues you think your child might have (previous bad experiences, any kind of sensitivities, shyness, literally anything you can think off) to give the dentist as much information as possible so they can mold their approach to exactly what your child needs.
Remember, prevention is definitely better and easier than cure! So, book your child’s 6 monthly appointments for a checkup and clean. If a tiny cavity is present, in a lot of cases, they can be fixed without any “magic-sleepy water” we don’t like saying the word injections… And if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to contact us!