Is your child fearful of the dentist? Everyone at some point in their lives as a child has been scared of the thought of visiting the dentist. It is a growing cycle amongst us all that only the parent can resolve. One of the more difficult tasks as a parent is to educate your child on why visiting the dentist is so important for the health of their teeth. Luckily, there are a variety of proven tips that have worked wonders for your child’s perception of the dentist.
The Five Tips
If your child has an appointment with the dentist coming up, follow these tips to get them prepared for a positive visit:
- Tell Them About Your Past Experiences – As a child, today’s parents will always have stories to tell their child and one of them will be how they feared the dentist. As the parent, use your past experiences and explain what your feelings were and how you were able to overcome them. If children feel they have the support, it will help relax them.
- Book Their Appointment In Advance – It is recommended that you tell your child at least two weeks in advance of their booked appointment. When children are faced with the unknown, they need time to come to the idea of something new to them. This is also the case with their first dental appointment. Whilst they might be feeling scared when you tell them, it will be more accepting later.
- Educate Them On Healthy Teeth – Children need to be aware of why looking after teeth is so important. Educate them on the benefits of healthy teeth and how these benefits can be achieved with regular visits to the dentist. Use a soft tone so that your child can understand. Keep the explanation simple and educate them on what they need to know.
- Perform a Roleplay Exercise – With soft-toddler language, talk to your child whilst performing a typical dental appointment. In a friendly, happy way, explain to them what will happen at the dentist and make them feel comfortable with dental toys around them.
- Always Be Reassuring – Nothing makes a child happy when they hear positive stories about themselves. When talking about the dentist, reassure them that the dentist is a comfortable and happy environment. If your child feels dental anxiety and nervous, reassure them that you will support them. You can even encourage them to sit with them at the appointment, so your child has some support.
Visiting the dentist as a child is a daunting experience. Rest assured, it gets easier in time. However, if you follow these five tips, the child will change the way they feel about the dentist and become excited leading up to their appointment. Stay persistent if it takes time for your child to acknowledge the importance of visiting the pediatric dentist. The goal is for your child to understand why healthy teeth and important, and so they can look forward to future dental visits.