Getting Your Child to Love the Dentist – Dr. Adyan
How’s everyone doing today?
It’s MCO day I-lost-count ! But I’m sure everyone has found ways to adapt to the current situation.
Our social media inbox has also been flooded with questions from parents that are concerned of their children’s dental health. One of the common concerns I get is “My child hates the dentist, he/she will start crying or throw a fit at the dental clinic.“
Let me be honest. Every patient is different, be it a child or an adult. So some children are naturally very well-behaved even on their first appointment seeing the dentist. And some children, are truly terrified to see the dentist even if they’ve come more than once!
To help with parents that are struggling to get their child to like the dentist, here are some tips I usually share, and what I also observe from parents that have children that aren’t afraid of the dentists:
- As soon as your children have their first teeth, bring them to the clinic for a check-up. Most of the time no treatment is needed, but the child will be familiarized with seeing a dentist, having a dentist checking the inside of her mouth, the tools we use, and the environment of the clinic.
- Role play with your child! A few of the parents I met had done role plays at home where they act as dentist and patient with their child, including having plastic dental mirrors to use at home! And sometimes the child can also act like the dentist!
- Bring your children for their bi-annual dental check-ups. Some may not like it, but as time goes by they actually get used to this routine. I’ve got a number of families that always bring their children for check-ups every 6 months. On the first few visits, it was a nightmare for both the parents and the children. But after a while, they can casually walk into my room and sit on the dental chair without even being asked to! Some children even beg their parents to bring them to the dental clinic!
- Take good care of your child’s teeth. Brush teeth together with them at least twice a day and limit their sugar intake. The less dental problem they have, the less treatment they would need; which will make their dental visit less ‘scary’ than they would imagine (and kinder to the pocket too 😉 ). Also, always check your child’s teeth to spot any caries/abnormalities.
- Encourage them with kind words instead of scolding them harshly. It creates a more positive and less stressful environment. If they feel stressed during one visit, it’s likely they won’t look forward to the next visit either. You can calm them down by holding their hands too during treatments, letting them know you’re always there for them.
- Co-operate with the dentist. Instead of saying “Oh, did this dentist make you cry? I’ll scold the dentist for you!”, you can say “The dentist is going to help make your teeth shine prettier for you/ This dentist is going to be gentle with you“. Trust me, we don’t like to be the villain 😀
- It’s totally normal for parents to be uncertain of how to ensure their child’s good dental health and habit, so don’t be shy to call the clinic and ask questions.
- Last but not least, there is a limit to which treatment can be done if a child is very aggressive on the dental chair that may make it harmful. But worry not, there is also a solution to that. If necessary, our dentist can always refer to a specialist for special dental procedures to be done for your child, which will be explained thoroughly to you.
The list is actually longer but I hope this helps!
We only take emergency patients during MCO, so during MCO you can practise some of the tips, and also plan when to have your children’s next dental appointment. As soon as MCO ends you can bring your children for their regular dental check-ups!
Stay safe and take care!
Drop me an email an firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve got any enquiries.
Lots of love,