The Role of Parents in Their Children’s Dental Visits
Dr. Aaron Johnson of the Smile Center in Bismarck, ND wants to make children and their parents have productive visits in a comfortable atmosphere. Children and child-parent relationships differ, so Dr. Johnson will be flexible to work alongside parents to make the dental visit a positive one.
It often works best for parents to accompany their very young children into the examining room for their first visits to the dentist. Although these early visits allow the dentist to see that the teeth are developing normally, another important purpose is to make the child feel comfortable in the dental office, having practice sitting in the patients’ chair, and allowing the dentist and hygienist to examine the mouth. An early feeling of confidence will be important in later visits when dental procedures are needed.
About the time the child is five years old, many children are able to leave their parents in the reception area and go with the dentist on their own. This can be positive step as it allows the dentist to give his full attention to the child without the need to also carry on a conversation with the parent, and some children will more easily comply with instructions from the dentist without the parent present. If a parent wants to check on the child, the door is always open, and the parent can easily peek in to check on progress without child seeing the parent. Parents are welcome to stay if the child finds it reassuring. Consider choosing the parent to accompany the child who is most able to keep a relaxed attitude that conveys, “let’s get this done” in a matter-of-fact way. Dr. Johnson desires to team with families to develop early positive attitudes about visiting the dentist and maintaining good dental health.