Posted by Andrea - 01 Sep 2014
Milford Dentists is a Kids dentist near you......... Parents often ask “when should I bring my child to the dentist”. My answer to this is “as early as possible”.
I believe it is very important for children to see health professionals in happy non-threatening situations. Let’s talk about an imaginary child called Alice. If you bring Alice along when you come to the dentist for a procedure that you are OK with ie that doesn't stress you out, several things might happen. Alice may or may not be interested in what is happening. She may be scared because things are unfamiliar. She may be shy. Whatever happens during this appointment she will be under no pressure to open her mouth & show me her teeth. After a few visits like this she will feel fine about her surroundings & often feels left out of the proceedings. At this point Alice may decide that she wants me to look at her teeth & not the other way round. The end result is someone who hasn’t been “forced” because of necessity to open her mouth.
Compare this ideal scenario with a child who having never been to the dentist, falls over in the playground & chips her front tooth. This scenario is traumatic for everyone. Mum or Dad gets a phone call from kindy or school. The child arrives at the dentist with a worried parent who is oozing feelings of stress & concern (kids being perceptive little things always pick up on this). Both child & parent are upset & arrive to meet someone the child does not know, which often makes a difficult situation impossible. The child is now scared because a stranger wants to look at her injury. The end result of this is more upset, which is the absolute last thing any of us want.
Other first visits to the dentist can be made incredibly traumatic for a child because parents inadvertently say thoughtless things. Some examples of these would be:
Reminiscing about your past e.g.: traumatic visits to “The Murder House”. Saying things like ~
Please note that if a child is happy to have me look at their teeth, in most circumstances, if I’m left to do my job without any of the above or similar said, I can carry out many procedures quickly & painlessly. Situations can deteriorate rapidly when a parent tries to help by explaining a procedure on my behalf. For want of repeating myself, using words like, hurt, pain, needle, injection, drill can & do have very upsetting consequences. Think about this. If your first experience of having a filling was a painless process, why would you be scared for your child?
Try to see a dentist before anything needs doing (hopefully things will never need doing). If talking about the dentist try not to scare your child. Try not to explain things to your child during a procedure unless invited to do so. This invariably always makes things worse. Leave the explanation to me. Thank you for taking this advice in advance.