Although going to the dentist is essential, its probably never going to be a childs idea of a good time. However, there are some measures you can take to help ease your childs fears and make her feel better about visiting the dentist.
Dont Teach Them to Fear the Dentist
Telling stories about your negative experiences like the time you had a horrendous root canal may make your child fear the dentist. Try painting the dentist in a positive light by using silly, fun phrases, like saying the dentist needs to clean sugar bugs off her teeth, or the dentist needs to check her smile and count her teeth.
Seeing is Believing
At a pediatric dentists office, your child will have toys to play with and kid-friendly pictures to look at, and sometimes video games and movies to enjoy. Take your child to pediatric dentists office for a visit. Most dentists wont mind showing their tools and explaining what theyre doing.
Help your child develop an idea about what the dentist will do by playing pretend dentist games. Count her teeth by starting with the letter A, and show her in a mirror how to dentist may check on her teeth. Let your child use a toothbrush to clean your teeth or the teeth of a doll to help her get familiar with the routine so shell be more comfortable for the real visit.
Preparation is Key
Give the dentist a heads-up that its your childs first appointment or tell them about your childs fears of the dentist so theyll be as accommodating as possible. When preparing for your childs visit, avoid telling her too many details that will cause her unnecessary anxiety. Keep a positive attitude to make the visit seem fun and great rather than scary.
Giving Positive Reinforcement
If your child shows good behavior during her visit, treat her to a trip to her favorite spot or a toy. Positive reinforcement will encourage her healthy attitude, and shell have something to look forward to after her next visit.
The Earlier, the Better
Its important for your child to know that regular checkups and cleaning are essential to having a healthy mouth and preventing serious oral health problems down the road. Starting at an early age when the first tooth is visible and with a friendly family dentist, like Dr Bruce Hartley, is best for preventing your child from developing fears.