Starting early is the best way to help your child become comfortable with the dentist. Taking them to the dentist as soon as possible will help them become familiar with the environment and reduce any fear they may have. It is also important to maintain a regular schedule of dental checkups every six months, so that your child can become accustomed to the dentist, office staff, and office itself. This will help them feel safe and secure when they visit. You can also start stimulating your baby's gums when they are babies, so that they can get used to having their teeth and mouth touched.
This can be done by using a warm, sterile washcloth, cleaning and massaging their gums. Young children can also brush their teeth with baby toothbrushes, which will allow them to get used to the feeling of having something in their mouth and instruments that touch their first baby teeth and gums. It is also important to be aware of any stories or descriptions of dentists that your child may have heard from other children or from books and cartoons. Talk to your pediatric dentist about taking a tour of the office with your child before their first checkup. If a child associates a particular dentist with a painful procedure or visit, they may experience anxiety when they see them. If a tantrum occurs during the visit, be prepared to face it calmly and, depending on what the dentist suggests, you may want to distance yourself from the child during that time or go to help the dentist hold his hand to prevent him from reaching and picking up the utensils. Finally, parents who visit the dentist regularly and emphasize good oral hygiene can help alleviate dental anxiety in children.
By providing children with a family environment, they are more likely to develop a sense of safety and security when they visit the dentist.