As a child, being poked and prodded with metal tools in their mouth can be extremely scary, making it understandable if a child starts to become fearful of visiting a dentist’s office. If your child is experiencing anxiety about seeing a dentist, here are some ways to help them overcome their fear and become more comfortable visiting their dentist.
1.Develop good habits.
It is important to take care of your teeth, so making sure that your child is brushing their teeth properly and consistently is crucial. By keeping your children’s teeth healthy it will prevent them from having to go to the dentist as much. It will also prevent any invasive surgeries or procedures from having to be done. They will feel proud of their teeth rather than self conscious believing their dentist thinks they are caring for them poorly.
2.Start of young.
It is important to start good dental hygiene with your child at a young age. The younger they start taking care of their teeth, the healthier their teeth will be. Going to the dentist from a younger age will also help them to form a more comfortable bond with the dentist because it is someone they will have known for longer. It is easier to trust someone that is more known to you, rather than a stranger.
3.Listen to the language that is used at the dentist.
Often, adults also have a fear of the dentists. This fear can sometimes be displayed when taking kids to their appointments, subconsciously instilling a fear in them. It is important that when talking about the dentist, you avoid using words that can be associated with bad things, like pain or hurt. The tone of your voice when talking about the dentist should be one that is soothing and calming, not alarming. Using language like clean, healthy, and strong when talking about teeth and dentists will help the child form less scary associations.
4.Play pretend with your child.
A great way to help your child become more comfortable with the dentist is by participating in role play. Have them be the patient, and you be the dentist to introduce them to some of the procedures that the dentist will do, like cleaning their teeth. This will help the child to become more familiar with the routine, which can make it seem a lot less scary when they go in for the real thing. You can also have them test out being the dentist and looking at your teeth.
These are some ways that you can help your child to overcome their fear of the dentist. By instilling good habits and starting young, you can avoid having to take excessive and unnecessary trips to the dentist. Fostering an atmosphere that is positive is going to help diminish your child’s fear of seeing the dentist and ensure they are getting the treatments they need!