How to Prepare Your Child (and Yourself) for a Pediatric Dental Procedure
The chances are that your child will need a pediatric dental procedure a few times during their childhood. For some children (and their parents), this can cause anxiety, especially if a more extensive procedure is required. Parents who take their children in for their first dental visit by age one, and every six months after that, can help lessen that anxiety, but it doesn’t mean that parents shouldn’t take additional steps to make sure things go smoothly on dental procedure day.
What can parents do to prepare their child for a pediatric dental procedure?
If your child needs a restorative dental procedure, such as a pulpotomy, filling, extraction, or crown work, it is only natural for them to feel a bit apprehensive. However, these dental procedures are common, and with the right preparation, your child can have a successful, comfortable, and pain-free experience. Here are 5 ways you can help alleviate your child’s concerns.
1. Stay positive about the dental procedure.
Kids tend to feed off the mood of their parents and siblings. So if your child needs to undergo a pediatric dental procedure, one of the best things that you can do is stay positive. When it comes to medical and dental procedures, adults tend to share their negative stories. But when it is time for your kid to have a pediatric dental procedure, take steps to hide any potential displeasure about your past dental experiences.
Parents are encouraged to talk to their kids about the positive experiences they have had at the dentist and the benefits that their child will experience as a result of the procedure. For example, if your child needs a pulpotomy to save a severely decayed tooth, parents should talk about how much better it will feel after the procedure is done. After all, that infected pulp that sits under the tooth’s crown can be pretty painful.
2. Watch some Youtube videos about positive experiences with pediatric dental procedures.
Kids love to read books and watch videos. Suppose your child is showing some nervousness about their upcoming pediatric dental procedure. In that case, you might want to consider reading them some child-friendly books about what to expect at the dentist. Another great option is to look for some positive, kid-friendly YouTube videos. For example, this YouTube video features Sweetie Fella Aleks and his positive experience with his pediatric dentist.
3. Use positive reinforcement.
Parents can offer positive reinforcements by praising their children and making them feel motivated to be brave. In some cases, such as in the previously mentioned video, Sweetie Fella Aleks receives a special gift after demonstrating good behavior at the dentist.
Some parents like to make dental procedure day a special parent-child day, complete with a meal out at a favorite restaurant or a trip to a park. Other parents choose to reward their child with a particular toy after the procedure is done. And other parents tell their kids how proud they are after the appointment. All of these methods work well. The key is to stay positive and reinforce your child’s good behavior at the dentist.
4. Talk to your child about what Pediatric Dental Specialists does to create a positive and comfortable dental experience.
Many children will benefit from taking an office tour of the dental center before their pediatric dental procedure. A member of the Pediatric Dental Specialists team in Omaha, NE, will walk you and your child through the office so that you can meet Dr. Ben and get to know the flow of the office. Your child may feel better seeing other kids in the dental chair and realize that this is something that they can do too.
We also offer conscious sedation and anesthesia for specific procedures and when it might help to ease your child’s dental anxiety. The Pediatric Dental Specialists team is trained in administering sedation for children of all ages and needs.
5. Know what to expect for your child’s new dental patient experience.
For parents experiencing some dental anxiety of their own on behalf of their child, it can help calm nerves by knowing what to expect in advance. Plan your child’s dental visit by working with the Pediatric Dental Specialists schedulers to find a time that will work conveniently for you and your child. Be sure to fill out your child’s new patient paperwork in advance, and arrive at the appointment 20 minutes early so that we can answer your remaining questions.
Proper preparation for your child’s pediatric dental procedure can help your child love the dentist.
Does that sound like a stretch? We promise it is possible to help your child love the dentist. With the proper preparation in advance of a pediatric dental procedure, the right support and positive attitude from mom and dad, and the right dentist such as Dr. Ben at Pediatric Dental Specialists, your child can overcome their dental anxiety.
If your child is due for a cleaning or needs a pediatric dental procedure in Omaha, NE, be sure to request an appointment. We look forward to seeing you.