When kids get old enough to communicate their fears and understand their parents communication about them, things like going to the dentist become not as big a deal for most children. However, at the toddler stage, it can be exceptionally difficult for both you to explain that there is nothing they should fear and for them to communicate why it is they are so afraid when they step into a dentist's office. Therefore, there is a pretty good chance that even just a basic checkup with your toddler will be quite the event if they are the slightest bit afraid. As a parent of an antsy toddler, there are a few things you can do that may help.
Schedule the appointment for just after your toddler's usual nap time.
You may assume that if your youngster is tired at the time of their appointment, they will be more relaxed during their visit. However, this is normally not the case with a toddler. If they have an appointment at nap time, it can actually make them more agitated and upset. Try scheduling the appointment for just after your child's usual nap time if at all possible.
Avoid long wait times in the waiting room by planning ahead.
The longer you have to wait in the waiting area at a pediatric dentist office, the more fearful your youngster is likely to become. Between treated patients roaming about with gauze stuffed in their mouth and other anxious children also present, your toddler can definitely get worked up about the whole situation. Try to arrive just on time for the visit itself, and if there is paperwork that must be filled out, drop by and fill it out before you actually have to be there for the appointment to reduce down time.
Schedule an introductory visit.
Sometimes, little ones are more afraid of the dentist and the office itself because it is a place they have never been and the dentist and their staff are strangers. If your child's dentist will allow it, schedule an introductory visit to the office first. This visit will only require the child to meet the people in the office and get familiar with the surroundings. The next time they have to go back for an actual visit, the fact that they have already been there and saw the faces of some of the employees may help soothe their fearfulness.
For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like http://www.nwidentist.com/.