MY CHILD IS TERRIFIED OF VISITING THE DENTIST
Q I have a four-and-ahalf-year-old daughter who is suffering from tooth-related issues but is terrified of allowing a dentist to examine her teeth. I have to tussle to even get her to brush her teeth. She has a couple of cavities as well. What do I do?
AAt this age, it is important to understand and accept the fact that children are new to the experience of visiting a dentist and are generally fearful.
It is important you keep calm and inculcate good oral hygiene practices in your child. You and your family should avoid speaking about fearful dental experiences. You’re the role model for your daughter so practise brushing and good oral hygiene in front of her and encourage her to do it with you.
Make your child brush her teeth with a special toothbrush for children under five years and ensure that she rinses her mouth after every meal to avoid any decay.
It is advisable that your daughter be seen by a paediatric dentist. They are equipped and trained to calm fearful and anxious children. In most cases, they will be able to carry out the treatment after building a friendly rapport with the child. However, in certain cases where the child is very uncooperative and requires extensive treatment, new methodologies such as sedation dentistry or sleep dentistry are available, which are very effective. They use nitrous oxide gas or IV sedation to calm and relax children, and in most cases put them to sleep during the procedure. This is a fast, reliable, safe and stress-free solution to the issue your daughter is facing. In severe cases, general anaesthesia can also be used.
It is recommended that children visit a paediatric dentist every six months from their first birthday. Routine visits not only make your daughter develop a friendly relationship with the dentist but also start a lifetime of good oral health.