For adults and children alike, bi-annual dentist visits instill fear. It can be incredibly difficult to regularly take your child to their dentist appointments when that fear is so deeply rooted. You may be wondering what in the world you could possibly do to avoid that fear? The staff at Smile Reef are here to share some tips that could help your child overcome their fear of the dentist.
Start Scheduling Dental Visits While Child is Young
This is a big one. Schedule your child’s first dentist appointment when they are around one year old or when their first tooth appears. You may find that you are in need of a dentist for a tooth emergency or just for the standard preventative visit, but you want your child to be able to handle the visit for whatever reason, with ease. Getting comfortable at the dentist young will help this happen naturally.
Don’t Over Explain Dental Check Ups
When you are preparing your little one for their first visit to the dentist, be as vague as possible. Try not to share too many details about what may or may not happen while they are at their appointment. Always have an upbeat, positive attitude when discussing the visit, but don’t tell them everything will be fine when there is a potential problem with your child’s teeth. This creates distrust. Although, you don’t want to use words like pain, shot or hurt when speaking of the dentist either. When it comes down to it, use your words wisely and the appointment will have a better outcome.
Role Play a Dentist Visit
A great way to get your child ready for their first appointment is to play dentist one afternoon. Have them lay in a soft chair and use a toothbrush to clean their teeth. You can also count the teeth during this mock appointment. Never pretend to use a drill or shot while pretending you’re at the dentist, but make it fun.
Some Fussing is Completely Normal
If this is your child’s first time visiting the dentist, be prepared for a little fussing. This is an uncomfortable environment for your child and they are bound to feel insecure during their first visit.
Discuss the Importance of Good Oral Hygiene in Daily Life
It is always recommended that you have a discussion from a very young age with your child about the importance of good oral hygiene. Explain to them how important it is to have healthy teeth so they can eat, and that a visit to the dentist isn’t a choice, but a necessity. Use words they can understand in trying to help them feel more comfortable with oral hygiene.
If you follow the steps above, you are setting your child up for the best dental appointment you possibly can. Even when you follow these tips, your child might have a hard time at their first appointment. The friendly, skilled dentists at Smile Reef will do everything in our power to ensure your child has a successful visit with us. Call us today to schedule your child’s first or next dental appointment.
Anyone, but particularly children, can have a difficult time going to the dentist. Children in general can find the stranger wearing a mask to perform intrusive procedures intimidating. Not understanding the situation, it can be difficult for the dentist to conduct dental needs safely and effectively. Children with special needs, low attention spans, and natural phobias can have even more of a difficult time with dental visits. Under going sedation prior to dental procedures can be an optimal solution, many kids, no matter the circumstances, can still benefit from sedation dentistry services. With that in mind, we at Smile Reef would like to take the opportunity to discuss sedation dentistry for children.
Conscious Oral Sedation VS IV Sedation Drugs
Sedation dentistry is a great alternative to stressful situations and uncooperativeness stemming from high anxiety. For kids that are overwhelmed and frightened of the prospects of visiting the dentist’s office, sedation therapy is a safe and effective method to provide the dental treatments they need without adding more kindle to the fire, so to speak. Below you will find a few common techniques to sedate the little ones for dentist work.
- Oral Sedatives. For children with high anxiety, oral sedatives are a recommended prescription. Ideal for routine checkups, or single cavity fillings, this medication is taken about 45 minutes prior to their appointment. They are fully conscious and aware of their surroundings and depending on the procedure, may still need a local anesthetic to avoid pain. The sedating medication takes the edge off their anxiety to be in a relaxed state.
- Nitrous Oxide. A stronger method than oral sedation, this approach is recommended for kids with moderate dental phobias. Nitrous oxide is an odorless and tasteless gas that puts children in a conscious sedation during their procedures; as it is inhaled just before their dental treatments begin. The gas is worn off within a couple of hours and has no lingering effects.
- Intravenous Sedation. This method is recommended for children with extreme dental phobias or those that require intensive dental treatments. Your child is always supervised as a qualified staff member monitors the heart rate and blood pressure through the duration of the procedure. Just before treatment starts, an IV injected imposes a benzodiazepine agent into the bloodstream.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
Below are just some of the benefits you and your child receive in sedation dentistry.
1) Your child can avoid excessive appointments to the dentist as sedation dentistry allows the dentist to complete more procedures where necessary.
2) It is often challenging for children that have behavioral or emotional disorders present as well as those with special needs to sit still long enough to give the dentist an opportunity to fulfill their tasks. Taking advantage of sedation dentistry can help these unique kids get the dentist care they need without undue hardships.
3) With sedation dentistry, children who have a sensitive gag reflex, especially where dental needs are concerned, can benefit as the gag reflex is suppressed, and the dentist can use their tools efficiently; avoiding your child from being self conscious or embarrassed.
4) The memory of sedation dental procedures inadvertently blocks the memory of the visit. Over time your child may not have to endure sedation for dental treatments; overcoming their fears.
5) Not only just sedating your child, but also paralyzing the nerve endings, the nitrous oxide relieves any pain inflicted during dental procedures.
Child Sedation Dentistry
If you want to further discuss the option to sedate your child during their dental procedure, call Smile Reef today!