When it comes to children, they can have various fears, worries, and concerns. One of these fears can involve the dentist or dental work in general. This often comes from a bad experience they had or simply a fear of not understanding the dentist and their purpose. Even if explained, a child might still be afraid. As a parent, this can be overwhelming or hard to handle. If your child has a dental fear, here are a few tips to help ease that fear.
Start Them Early
If your child doesn’t yet have a fear of the dentist, a great way to avoid them obtaining this fear is by starting them early. If you make visits to the dentist a normal and natural event, children will be less likely to be fearful of it as they age.
Watch What You Say
Children are inquisitive and their little minds seem to wander as their imagination goes wild. Try not to use trigger words such as “pain” or “shot.” These words will cause them some stress and worry. These words can cause their imagination to come up with various scenarios, increasing their fear and concern. Keep details simple and let the pediatric dentist workers do what they trained to do and guide your child through the visit.
Practice at Home
As mentioned, children have wild imaginations. If they experience something new, they often have preconceived notions about what the experience will entail. Play pretend dentist at home to correlate visiting the dentist with something positive. You can even use books to teach them more about the dentist and their job or even TV shows that cover the subject.
Even if you feel your child is prepared for the dentist and you feel like you’ve covered every base, they still might respond in a fussy manner. You have to remember that your child is being examined by a stranger or someone they don’t know well. They’re in a cold room, in a big chair, and a light is shining in their eyes. Be understanding and patient if your child gets upset or can’t sit still. Even adults get nervous in these types of situations which will make it quite normal for a child to feel this discomfort.
Make Sure Your Child Sees a Professional
Always make sure that your child is seeing a pediatric dentist and a good one at that. A pediatric dentist and their staff will have all the specialized training concerning kids specifically. This means they will know how to ensure a child is comfortable and provide an atmosphere that fosters a positive and safe experience.
The dentist can be a fun experience for children if they are given the opportunity to experience it that way. If you are unsure about what to do for your child and it seems none of these tips have helped, don’t hesitate to speak to a pediatric dentist and get some guidance for your child’s case specifically.