Being afraid of the dentist is common among children. It’s because the environment is new to them. They also may not fully understand why they should sit on the dental chair.
Going to a clinic specializing in pediatric dentistry services surely helps. Nonetheless, you play a prominent role in making your child comfortable with going to the dentist. To help you out, below are some things to do if your child’s afraid of the dentist:
Talk With Your Child
Your child trusts you. They may not understand why they must visit the dentist, so you need to talk with them and explain why good oral hygiene is essential.
You can discuss how a dentist can help keep their teeth healthy and strong. You can say it goes hand in hand with brushing their teeth at home. It’s the extra step they must take to have a fantastic smile.
Ideally, you should talk to your child a few days before the visit. You should avoid saying scary words like ‘shot,’ ‘hurt,’ or ‘pain.’ They can make your child panic and feel anxious about their visit.
Switch To A Fun Pediatric Dentist
Different kinds of dentists specialize in specific oral concerns. You should switch to a fun pediatric dentist to ensure your child’s comfort.
A pediatric dentist specializes in handling children of all ages. They know how to keep a child comfortable and have a high patience level to work with the fuzziest child. A fun pediatric dentist can make the dental visit enjoyable as they’ll use a fun tone and play games.
It’s also best to look for one near your location. For example, you can search online for ‘pediatric dentistry Alexandria VA’ or wherever you’re located. This way, you can visit briefly and see how fun and competent the dentist and the staff are. You can check the clinic and see if the atmosphere’s pleasant for your child.
Be A Role Model
You may want to bring your child with you on your next dental appointment if you’re not anxious about dental visits. You can let your child watch how brave you are on the dental chair. You can show your child that there’s nothing to worry about.
Preferably, you should only bring your child when you’re visiting for dental cleaning, as the procedure is quick and pain-free. You shouldn’t show discomfort, as your child can quickly sense it. Let the clinic know in advance as well so that the dentist and staff can assure your child, too.
Play Dentist At Home
You can practice being at the dental clinic at home. You can buy dental toys and pretend to be a dentist with your child. You can ask them to open their mouth and check their teeth. You can even ask your child to inspect your mouth and let them pretend to clean your teeth.
When playing dentist with your child, try to make it as fun as possible. This role-playing activity can help them become familiar and comfortable with what’ll happen at the clinic.
Read Books Or Watch Videos
Sometimes, your child needs to see dental visit examples to convince them they’re okay. You can read children’s books focusing on a child’s first dental visits. You can also watch videos showing the experiences of children with their dentists.
When reading books or watching videos, ensure you’ve read or seen them first. See how the story goes to learn if it’ll be something your child can find peace in.
Play Their Favorite Music
Sometimes, music can calm a person. If this works for your child, you may want to use music to help with their anxiety. Music may help them be still and feel comfortable on the dental chair. You can play soothing music or their favorite song.
You can use a speaker or make them wear headphones when playing music. It’s best to make a playlist before you visit the dentist. You can even create a test play once to see if it works for your child. See if your child will be calmer with soothing music or their favorite tunes.
Praise Their Bravery
Your words matter to your child. After their visit, you can praise them for how proud you are of their bravery. You can emphasize how strong they are in facing their fears, making them a stronger person.
If your child isn’t cooperative, don’t show disappointment. Instead, continue to patiently explain to your child that going to the dentist is necessary for them to have a beautiful smile.
It’s normal for a child to be afraid of their dentist. Any of the tips discussed in this article can help your child overcome their fears. You can be their role model, play dentist with them, or show clips and books. But above all, you should talk with your child and explain that going to the dentist can help improve their oral health.