If you are a new parent, a pediatric dental appointment may be a foreign concept. You may not know what to expect from this visit, but you can learn what will happen. The more you understand, the more effectively you can get your child ready to see the dentist for the first time. This does…
Getting Ready for Your Child’s First Dental Crown
If you are preparing for your child’s first dental crown, there are a few things you can do to help the process go more smoothly. Children get dental crowns for many of the same reasons as adults: a cracked or broken tooth, to strengthen the bite or to prolong the life of a tooth. When a baby tooth is decayed to the point it cannot support a filling, then a crown is recommended. Baby teeth fall out, but crowns prevent them from falling out too soon. Children are often given stainless steel crowns unless it is a front tooth.
Don’t spring it on him/her
No one likes surprises, at least of the dental variety. The more prepared the child is for the visit, the more likely he/she will have a successful trip.
Kids pick up on anxiety. If you are feeling anxious and displaying signs of distrust or unease, then your child will not have a successful visit. There are things you both can do to relax before the trip. Try playing calming music. Connect something fun for the child with the trip. Give yourself a break and breathe. It’s natural to worry about your child. Just learn to do so in a healthy way for his/her benefit as well as your own.
Familiarize your child with the procedure by playing dentist at home. Use dolls or teddy bears and take turns being the dentist. The more familiar your child is with the procedure, and the more fun he/she can attach to it, the more likely it will be a success.
Watch tv shows with dentist characters. Take a trip to the office ahead of time just to check out the waiting room. Ask if you can take a quick peek into one of the exam rooms just to become familiarized with it. Often the most anxiety comes from never having been somewhere before.
It takes time to fit and place a child’s first dental crown. Be prepared with activities for while you both wait. Bring books or hand-held games. Bring music and headphones to listen to or your child’s favorite movie. It often helps to bring the child’s favorite toy or blanket. It gives them something familiar and comforting to hold in an unfamiliar place.
Ask and answer questions
Children are natural question askers, and often we brush the multitude of “whys” and “hows” away. Take time to hear their questions and answer them to your best ability. If you don’t know the answer to something, let your child know and together set out to discover it. The dentist is happy to answer any questions before, during and after the procedure. Allow time for your child to ask. The more he/she understands what is going on, the more comfortable the entire experience will be.
Be patient with your child. There will be lots of questions leading up to the appointment. Dental procedures can be a stressful time for anyone at any age. Give your child the space he/she needs to work through emotions and questions.
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