When it comes to your child’s dental care, the relationship between your child and their dentist is vital. This is especially true at a very young age. During this time, the bonds your child forms with other people have an impact on how they perceive things later on in life. If their experience of the dentist is traumatic, then it might take a while before they willingly go to the dentist again, if at all. So, how do you build a bond between your child and their pediatric dentist?
For the most part, you do this the same way you’d prep your kids for a trip to the dentist’s office in general. Bridging the gap between your child and their potential dentist involves managing their expectations of the dental visit in general. The dental visit, after all, poses a new and strange experience your child might be wary of. However, a good portion of this relationship-building lies in the dentist. Generally speaking, you’re looking for someone who has prior experience in dealing with children and has a good track record with them.
How do you build a bond between your child and their pediatric dentist, precisely? Here are some suggestions.
Choose a Dentist that is Well-Suited for Your Child
Getting the right pediatric dentist for your child is winning half the battle. When you find a dentist that works well with your child—or if you see someone with a proven track record of handling young patients—chances are, you’ve hit the jackpot. How your child perceives their dentist, after all, significantly impacts how they’ll respond to the rest of the treatment.
If you’re new to choosing a pediatric dentist, it might be hard to know what to look for. Fortunately, we’ve got some guidelines you can jump off:
- Are they a pediatric dentist? Pediatric dentists, when compared to general or family dentists, tend to focus their practice on younger patients. These dentists are also trained in handling pediatric behavior, making it likely that they know how to quell any anxiety your child might have during the visit.
- How well do they handle children? There’s a distinction between being trained in something and being able to handle it in practice. In picking the right dentist for your child, the latter reigns supreme. If you can’t find a pediatric dentist in your area, the next best thing is to find a dentist that’s good at dealing with children.
- How does their office look? The dentist’s office factors in your child’s impression as much as the dentist does, so you might also want to take the office into account. Does it look clinical and sterile? Or does it look warm and welcoming? Do they have toys your children can play with? These are things you might want to consider when checking out the office.
- Does their schedule coincide with my child’s best hours? While this isn’t necessary, this criterion can prove helpful for some parents with particularly fussy children. If your child is consistently grumpy at a particular hour or likes to take naps at a certain time, scheduling their dental visit when they do not can help reduce unnecessary frustration.
Prepare Your Child for Their Dental Appointment
Aside from choosing the right dentist, however, how you frame the visit matters just as much. The anticipatory anxiety your child might feel can sour their perception of the dentist considerably and dampen the visit itself. That being said, be sure to deploy the right measures beforehand to ensure a successful dental visit. The rest will follow.