Visiting your dentist with your kids, especially before they start school, might be a regular thing, especially for children who are at the age their milk teeth are falling off. Those visits can be intimidating, especially with the set up in a dentist’s office, including that dreaded dental chair. Whatever the case, your kid needs to be assisted in overcoming their fear of dental visits.
In this article, we address ways in which you can assist your child to overcome their fear of dentists.
1. Introduce them while they are young
By introducing kids early enough for dental visits, they will get accustomed to what goes on and not fear to be around a dentist. As time goes by, they will appreciate that it is a place where they get their oral hygiene taken care of and not merely a place where they feel pain.
2. Do not complicate things
As you prepare for a visit to the doctor with your kid, only share with them information that is relevant in regards to the appointment. Avoid going into specifics, by going deep into details of the particular process they will undergo, you are likely to scare them off. In case of other questions, just let them know the doctor will answer all questions since he is the professional. Avoid fake promises to kids. If it is going to hurt, let them know so that they can have an idea of what they are about to get into.
3. Conduct a mock visit before an actual visit
Before making the actual visit to the doctor, having a mock visit that involves most of the activities your child is likely to engage in will make them get acquainted with the real events. You can role play by acting as the dentist while your child is the patient. Once you do this, you will realise children are more at ease as they have their teeth checked, because they have done something similar before.
To get them acquainted with what they should expect at the dentist, you can read books on the issue. Most kids’ books are colourful with information that is enough to help them get prepared for their visit.
4. Visit a children’s medic
One of the biggest mistakes that parents get into is to take their children to their dentists. While this might not be such a bad idea, since you are taking them to somebody well known to you, the adult clinic environment might not be child-friendly. Taking them to a clinic that handles children will be a great idea. They will most likely have toys, video games, TV showings for kids, etc. at their disposal. This will help calm them before they get into the doctor’s office.
5. Please provide them with some Positive Reinforcement
Before the visit promise them a gift, one that you know they will enjoy if they behave during their interaction with the dentist. Some ideas can be going out to their favourite playground. Make sure you remind them why they are there. By doing this, they will not dread visiting dental clinics, but instead, look forward to their next visit so that they can get to do something else they like.
6. Let them know the importance of good oral hygiene
From an early age, it is essential to emphasise the need to visit a dentist and make it clear that doing so is something positive for their health. Have them know that prevention is better than cure and that failure to conduct such visits could lead to more severe conditions that could be more painful.