Can a parent ensure easy and painless dental visits for their child?
Today’s modern dental visits can be simple, pleasant, and painless—if the parent is informed early about dental diseases and guided early on in what to expect, how to prevent and how to deal with oral health situations. It has been shown, in many long-term clinical studies, that children who learn dental prevention in the first year of life grow into adulthood without any dental problems. A parent who introduces a preventive program and implements it from the first year of a child’s life has taken the most important step toward a painless, simple, and enjoyable dental experience for their child.
Modern materials and new methods can also ensure less painful treatment even for children with dental problems. Pediatric dentists are specially trained in treating dental caries and other dental diseases, so that the child does not suffer in the dental chair. In addition, early dental treatment in the early years of life helps avoid extensive treatment later.
However, the above is not enough if the parent passes on their own dental anxiety to their child. Scientific studies show that the children who find it most difficult to cooperate with their dentist are children of parents who themselves face the dentist with anxiety.
In what ways does the pediatric dentist help the child not feel anxious and comfortable during their dental visit?
Pediatric dentists are specially trained in child psychology. They treat anxious children in special ways and make them feel safe during the dental visit.
By using psychological techniques, they help children feel comfortable. In the “Tell-Show-Do” technique, for example, the doctor tells the child that they will use an instrument. (This tool always has a “childish” name, e.g., a probe becomes a “meter”). They then show how to use this tool, first by measuring the child’s fingers. Then they do the same with the child’s teeth. Other techniques such as gradual desensitization, distraction, and parental involvement help the child to be calm.
In addition, the pediatric dental office is a space specifically designed and arranged for children, and the office staff are specially trained and distinguished by their love for young patients. As a result, most children feel calm, comfortable, and safe in the pediatric dental environment.
How do you face a child who misbehaves during treatment?
Sometimes, the child’s behavior in the office requires the doctor to use more strict behavioral control techniques. These techniques have the sole purpose of protecting the child, who is shaking or crying during treatment, from possible injury and to teach the child the behavioral rules of the clinic.
The most effective technique is that of “voice control”. The paediatric dentist speaks calmly but firmly to lead the child towards the right behavior. Under no circumstances is it sought to force the child to undergo dental treatment. What the pediatric dentist is primarily interested in is shaping the child’s dental behavior, not treating the tooth in a frightened child.
Finally, there are children who cannot cooperate for mental, psychological, or medical reasons. The pediatric dentist has the training and experience to administer appropriate behavioral control medications to these children, in the office or in more severe cases in a hospital, to complete dental treatment.
Why should I choose a pediatric dentist rather than a general dentist for my child?
There are several important reasons why you should choose a specialist pediatric dentist for your child’s dental care:
- They have specialized for at least three additional years in all aspects of children’s dentistry.
- They are educated not only about children’s dental needs but also about the psychological differentiations of children from adults, resulting in age-appropriate treatment.
- They care for the child from infancy to adolescence and guide the child in the prevention of dental disease and orthodontic problems, ensuring oral health for life.