It’s so important to have mom and/or dad go into the dentist office with their child. I mean, yes some kids do scream, and some kids do cry, when they are taken into an exam room. After all, from a child’s perspective, it’s frightening to walk into a brightly lit room with a dentist snapping on gloves and turning on machines.
But comforting a worried child is more than just about settling nerves. It’s about being your child’s hero.
How to Be Your Child’s Hero in the Dentist Office
Don’t you remember visiting a dentist when you were a child? Did it feel scary when you walked into the exam room? Was your mother or father there with you? Was the dentist nice to you?
A positive memory doesn’t just happen by accident. A good dentist knows that a child’s first visit will leave a profound impact for a lifetime. It’s the reason why some adults are comfortable with seeing a dentist, and why others are still filled with fear.
As a parent, this is your opportunity to help build that positive memory.
- When you’re sitting in the waiting room with your child, tell them about your memories of visiting a dentist for the first time. Hopefully, your memories were positive too. Tell your child how quick it went by, how nice the dentist was.
- Interact with your child. Keeping talking with them. Don’t let those scary thoughts fester in their minds.
- Inside the exam room, ask the dentist questions that will help ease your son’s or daughter’s fears. Something like, “Dr. Johnson, will this will be over soon?” I will answer back with something like, “Yes, this won’t take long at all, I promise!” You can also ask, “Dr. Johnson, will you be very gentle with (your child’s name)?” I will answer back with something like, “Yes, I will be very gentle with (your child’s name), I promise!”
When your child hears you take this kind of initiative to address their fears, they see you as their hero.
But as a dentist, this is also my opportunity to dispel those myths that kids see in videos. Stuff like, yanking teeth with pliers, or evil looking dentists with scary grins.
I’m a Parent Too!
I should know, I’m a father of three.
My kids express the same worry and trepidation about seeing a doctor. And I remember how scary it was when I was a kid and I had my first visit to a dentist. But I was fortunate. My parents found a great dentist who helped me feel comfortable, was very nice to me, and let my parents come in with me. That experience helped guide my career into what it is today.
A Visit to the Dentist is Quality Family Time
Your child’s visit to a dentist is an opportunity for quality family time. Quality family time is not just having fun together. It’s also moments when a child is frightened and needs their mother or father to comfort them. A visit to a dentist is such a moment.
That’s how you choose a good family dentist.
Choose someone who understands that a dental exam is more than just taking x-rays or looking inside a child’s mouth. It’s about building relationships. Not just a relationship with a dentist, but with yourself and your child. We of course, want to be your family’s dentist. And when your child grows into being an adult, we hope to still be their dentist, and their children’s dentist too.
Feel free to contact us.