Fear of dentists is all too common among children, but luckily, it’s nothing that can’t be overcome. Whether you’re ready to take your child to the dentist for his or her first time, or your child was upset by a past visit, move past this obstacle with help from Dr. Jason Cowden.
As a dentist in Rio Rancho who has extensive experience dealing with children’s concerns, Dr. Cowden offers expert guidance to help prevent major dental problems in the future. Ensure your child maintains good oral health over the long term by following these five tips:
1. Start early
Early visits to the dentist will help your child become familiar with the dental experience and learn that dentists are safe, important, and even fun. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends taking your child to see a dentist when his or her first tooth erupts, or by the first birthday.
At Cowden Family Dental, we suggest parents bring their children in for a reassuring introductory visit, which is designed to ease them into regular dental exams.
2. Consider a family dentist
If your family’s current dentist mainly serves adults, he or she may not be the best dentist for your child. Family dental practices like Cowden Family Dental understand how to help kids overcome fear of dentists. We know that starting off on the right foot is crucial to guiding children through years of healthy smiles, so we focus on putting young patients’ minds at ease.
As a family dentist, Dr. Cowden calms children’s fears by providing a fun, relaxing dental experience, as well as kids’ programs that make going to the dentist exciting.
For example, Cowden Family Dental offers the “Free Happy Visit,” which gives kids the opportunity to come in with their parents for free and learn more about going to the dentist. This helps establish a trusting dentist-patient relationship for your child, encouraging positive dental experiences going forward.
Dr. Cowden and his staff also invite young patients to participate in the “Cavity-Free Club.” This kids’ club provides young patients with a special certificate, a prize, and a photo op with Dr. Cowden to celebrate no cavities.
3. Don’t teach fear of dentists
Unknowingly, parents often contribute to children’s fear of dentists by expressing their own fears. If you experience anxiety about going to the dentist yourself, remember that this is an acquired fear.
Many people share this anxiety, but you can break the cycle by not sharing negative ideas about the dentist with your child, and avoiding words like “pain” and “hurt.”
Cowden Family Dental treats adults as well as children, so you are welcome to discuss any of your own fears with our doctor and staff. We will be happy to address your concerns and help you overcome past unpleasant experiences.
4. Answer your child’s questions
While it’s important to avoid expressing negativity about the dentist, parents should also talk with their children positively about dental visits before their initial appointment.
Cowden Family Dental highly recommends sitting down with your son or daughter and answering any questions about going to the dentist. Addressing concerns beforehand can significantly help kids overcome fear before they even go!
5. Stay with your child
When your child sits in the dental chair for the first time, he or she may experience anxiety no matter how well you’ve prepared for the exam. You can help your child stay calm and positive by staying nearby.
Dr. Cowden welcomes parents to stay with their children during checkups. This is a great way to help kids overcome fear of dentists, and gradually feel comfortable going through checkups on their own.
Learn more with your dentist
To learn more about how to help kids overcome fear of dentists, schedule a visit with Dr. Cowden by calling your Rio Rancho dentist today at (505) 273-3077.
Located in the 87144 area, Cowden Family Dental proudly serves patients from the surrounding communities, including Ranchitos, Tamaya, Sandia Pueblo, El Llanito, and Santa Ana Pueblo.