We understand that going to the dentist can be a bit scary for children. After all, we do use instruments that look a little frightening and make a lot of noises! However, conquering the fear of the dentist is possible when you take the time to explain the process to your child and demystify any of their concerns. Below, we’ve got three easy ways you can help conquer your child’s fears and show them that a dental appointment is no big deal.
1. Come For A Pre-Visit
Before your child’s first visit, you can come in for a pre-visit. This is where your child can meet our staff, sit in one of the exam chairs, and check out some of the equipment we use. This kind of familiarization will help your child see that no unexpected (and unpleasant) surprises will come up, and helps them feel more in control of the situation. This is also a great time for your child to as us any questions they may have, to help further put their minds at ease.
2. Get Your Child Engaged In Their Own Oral Care
A child who already has good oral hygiene habits will generally feel less anxiety at the dentist’s office. This is because they’re used to the feeling of having their teeth cleaned and, because they’ve been taking good care of their teeth, they’ll be less likely to have cavities or other problems that require more extensive treatment.
3. Talk About It At Home
Talking about going to the dentist at home is a great way to reduce any anxiety your child may have, as you’re in an environment where your child feels most relaxed and may be more receptive to learning about what the dentist will be like.
We suggest that you talk about the upcoming appointment in simple terms, such as telling your child that a doctor is going to take a quick peek into his or her mouth to make sure the teeth are growing in healthy and strong. Plus, they’ll get a really good cleaning to help make them extra shiny and bright. Avoid using any words involving pain, shots, or drills, or talking about any difficult dental procedures you may have gone through, as these can cause your child unnecessary worry.
Overcoming a fear of the dentist at a young age helps ensure your child will come for their regularly scheduled checkups into adolescence and adulthood. We’re here to help your child have the most comfortable and relaxed appointment possible, but if you think your child is particularly anxious about an upcoming visit, the tips are great ways to help bring them peace of mind.