I am glad that my previous article was appreciated and I hope it has answered some of your questions regarding oral hygiene. In my present article I will try and help make the first visit to the dentist a little less scary and pleasant to children and to their parents too.
As a dentist I have observed, when a child is brought to a clinic usually the parents are more scared than the child. The child is plain uncomfortable sensing the tension in their parents. So what I suggest that the first visit to the dentist should be one which is cordial, and pleasant. For example, on arrival the kids should be shown around and introduced to the dentist and assistants; or for that matter the child should be taken along with the parents who need to make a visit to the clinic. During such informal visits, the child should be counseled and motivated to brush regularly and maintain his or her oral hygiene. The visit should start with a general check up and then proceed to painless preventive and noninvasive procedures such as cleaning of teeth with rotary brush and a paste, fluoride applications and pit and fissure sealing. Children love these procedures and would want to come back for more. Unless necessary no treatment should be administered on day one. Believe me clinics today are more child friendly.
But sometimes it may happen that kids for some reason will not agree to visit the dentist; then what?
First of all don’t force unless necessary. Talk to them and reason it out, that why is he or she scared. Don’t ever scare or threaten them with words like pain or injections. Usually parents knowingly or unknowingly tend to mention these words and this reinforces the fear.
To a great extent these kinds of episodes can be prevented if the child is not in pain. The child will think that the dentist will cause more pain while treating the already painful teeth. It would be lot more easier to the parents to bring the child to the dentist if the child is not in pain and to the dentist to make the child’s first dental visit a painless pleasant experience. So parents don’t wait till you or your child is complaining of tooth ache. A visit to the dentist should be undertaken by the family like any other family outing like a visit to the park or a museum. Make routine dental visits a part of your life style. By doing so dental decays, periodontal problems and other things can be detected earlier and treated without much pain or uneasiness.
For example a tooth cavity when detected in early stages would be confined to the enamel of the teeth and when filled at this stage would be nearly painless and just a little sensitive. But if patient waits till it is unbearably painful (final stages of tooth decay, where pulp i.e. nerves and blood vessels are involved) then a more elaborate treatment such as root canal treatment in adults and pulpotomy in children is necessary.
As a dental professional I can tell that dentistry today has advanced a lot and as a result most of the procedures are nearly painless.
So parents make that little effort and take your children out for that dental outing which till now you have been avoiding.