6 Tips to Help Your Child Overcome Fear of Dentists
Is your child afraid to go to the dentist? Does he/she throw a tantrum when asked to sit into the dentist chair? Don’t worry, children often get scared of the doctor due to previous unpleasant experiences of getting an injection or having to take bitter medication.
As parents, you can help manage this fear by communication, play, and reinforcement. Let us explain how.
1. Start Visits to the Dentist at an Early Stage
Start those dental visits as early as the first tooth appears. This will ensure good oral health for your child. It will also help you educate them about oral hygiene. When children are introduced to something at an early age, they are more accepting towards it later on. So, the whole process of going to the dentist will become easier for both of you.
2. Play Pretend “Dentist” with Them at Home
Before taking them to visit the dentist, play pretends dentist at home. You can use a chair, mirror, and a toothbrush and pretend to count each other’s teeth and clean them. This way you can walk them through the whole procedure. Your child can practice the same thing with their stuff toys. This will help them feel more confident at the dentist.
3. Use Positive Words
Steer clear of any negative word such as “hurt” or “painful”. you can tell you tell a child that the dentist is going to see their smile and count their teeth. That’s it. No need to get them all worried. A positive outlook will help them associate better feelings with the dentist’s visit.
4. Teach the Importance of Dental Care
Reinforce the importance of proper dental hygiene in children from a very young age. They should be aware of the basics like brushing teeth two times a day, flossing, and regular dental visits. Tell them that dentists are doctors that will help them keep their teeth strong and bright.
5. Go to a Pediatric Dentist
A pediatric dentist receives additional training to handle small children and provide them with a comfortable environment. If your child is too fearful, tell the dentist beforehand so they make extra efforts to make the child comfortable.
6. Stay Calm
It’s easy to get anxious when your child is throwing tantrums at the dentist. Or to lose patience when they won’t get in the chair. But you need to stay calm. Don’t force them, offer bribery, or use any sort of negative influence.
We hope tying some of these methods makes the trip to the dentist a bit easier for you both.
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