Children being afraid of the dentist is a common issue many parents run into. Often this fear can stem from the unknown, a poor experience, or maybe something a child saw or heard. There can be many ways of going about remedying this fear in your child in a way that allows them to gain confidence when having to visit the dentist or orthodontist.
Just like adults, children can fear what they don’t understand. If a child hasn’t been to the dentist much or it’s their first time, it can be a scary experience, making it a difficult visit for them, the parents, and the dental professional. Although dental professionals that are setup to take young patients are trained in dealing with a fearful, little patient, it would still be nice for everyone involved if a child’s fears can be calmed. One of the best ways to overcome this fear is to teach your child about what happens at the dentist. Books and children’s TV shows have always been a wonderful way to calm a child about a dental visit.
Let Them Meet the Dentist
New people can be scary to children, making them very uncomfortable. Be sure to always stay with your child while visiting the dentist but, letting them meet the dentist and talk to them helps a lot. Sometimes, all it takes is a positive experience with a dentist for a child to change their mind about it. Be sure to let the dentist talk to your child and, if possible, let your child answer as many of the questions as possible. Odds are, the more they talk to the dentist, the more comfortable they’ll get.
Be Honest but Careful
If you have a fear of the dentist, be careful about how you show that fear around your child. You definitely want to be honest with your child about all they will experience at the dentist, even if something my hurt a little bit. However, you don’t want your child to fear the dentist just because you do. Try to be positive when talking about the dentist and during a visit. A child picks up on the parent’s feelings and emotions therefore, parents have to set the tone as best as possible.
Start Them Early
If you start a child out early at the dentist, they often times become very comfortable with the concept. This often results in a child not minding dental visits and even looking forward to them. Dental play at home is even encouraged in order for children to view it as something normal and not out of the ordinary. As mentioned earlier, children often do not fear the dentist if they understand the reason for it and the fact that it’s not something to fear.