Getting children to behave at the dentist’s office can be like, well, pulling teeth. Everybody knows that even routine dental procedures and regular cleanings can produce mild discomfort from time to time. Children are generally more susceptible to that pain and will kick and scream, either literally or figuratively, all the way to the dentist. If you’re a parent who is looking for a way to avoid having to deal with this reality one more time, Tracy Ginsburg DMD has some sage words of advice for you. As a New Jersey-based dental professional who heads up her own private practice, which has been in operation since 2001, she has seen plenty of children who would rather be at home playing with friends than getting their teeth cleaned. Still, it’s a bi-annual event that must be done. In this article, Tracy Ginsburg DMD will offer advice to parents and guardians who are already dreading that trip to the dentist that’s on the horizon.
Prevention Makes Perfect: While fillings or extractions are inevitable, Tracy Ginsburg DMD says you can take preventative measures to delay this for as long as possible. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, “your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday.” At Associated Periodontists, “professional dental cleanings” will take the brushing your child should be doing twice daily a step further. During this procedure, tartar and plaque will be removed and teeth will be polished.
Blank Canvas: According to Parents.com, you shouldn’t attempt to explain, predict or relate. If a child goes into a dentist visit as, more or less, a blank slate then they will form their own opinions and not become concerned if things don’t go as their parents said they would. “Some parents take their children with them to their own dentist appointment, but experts say this is a mistake,” the article states. “Telling ‘war stories’ about extractions, root canals, or other negative experiences will also trigger anxiety, especially because your child may not even have those procedures.”
Watch Your Words: Similar to the concept above, some other dental experts suggest giving ample consideration to the words you use to describe the dentist’s office and events to come. Not saying “pain” or “hurt” is just one way to steer the visit toward it being the routine event it truly is. Tracy Ginsburg DMD, a board-certified diplomat for the American Board of Periodontology, has treated countless children and knows that fears can easily be soothed if parents take proactive steps and are able to allay fears.