Children are keen readers of body language; if anyone is worried or uneasy about the visit, you can be sure that your child will sense it!
And if he or she is already nervous, the tension would only get worse.
Paediatric dentists are trained to be confident and calm about what needs to be done, and often that’s half the battle won!
There is an art to capturing your little one’s attention and redirecting their nervousness.
We use positive words and avoid scary terms like ‘pain’, ‘hurt’, ‘needle’, or ‘drilling’.
Moreover, each child is unique and may respond better to certain techniques; we are trained to pick up subtle clues and tailor our strategies to best help your kids cope with their dental visits.
You can help by sitting back and allowing it to happen – let the professional control the audience!
Your quiet presence in the room will gently reassure your child without distracting them.
On top of these three C’s, paediatric dentists also have many other tricks up their sleeves.
We take great pride in providing a kid-friendly, welcoming environment starting from the waiting room.
Depending on the child’s age, cooperation, and level of anxiety, we break the dental visit down into small steps that are easy to achieve, and we celebrate each one!
For the very fearful child, we even offer visits where the child can get familiar with the clinic, take a ride on the dental chair, or even just to come to say hi and make friends with us.
All in all, it is a team effort: the child, the dentist, and you the parent! Don’t wait until there is a problem or toothache before bringing your child to see a dentist.
Children generally do not have preconceived ideas about what a dental appointment is like, so having a positive attitude, exposing your child to positive stories or cartoons about visiting the dentist, and establishing a dental home early in life are all ways to combat (or avoid!) dental anxiety.