It’s not uncommon for children to fear the dentist at some point of their childhood.
Whether they just aren’t sure of what to expect, had a bad previous experience at the dentist, or had a painful procedure done at the dentist before, there are different reasons a child may fear the dentist.
However, in any case, a child can learn to associate the dentist with happy thoughts.
Here’s how you can help your fearful child love the dentist:
First and foremost, understand the root cause of your child’s fear.
You can’t help your child overcome their fear of the dentist without understanding the reason for their fear in the first place. If a child fears the dentist because they don’t know what to expect, educate them about the dentist, telling them how a dentist cleans their teeth and makes them healthy.
Having a bad experience or a painful procedure in the past, children can be reassured that they won’t go through those experiences again. If another procedure is soon to come, ask your child’s dentist for options calming down your child through sedative dentistry, for instance.
Choose a dentist that is friendly and patient for your child.
If one of your child’s bad experiences was dealing with a rude, impatient dentist, this problem can easily be solved. Find the right dentist for your child. After all, no child who’s afraid of the dentist wants to come across an impatient dentist that isn’t up for the challenge of making your child feel comfortable through their dental appointment.
Opt for a pediatric dentist that specializes in children.
Many pediatric dentists specialize in children of all types and are typically more patient with children. These dentists typically offer prizes after your child’s visit and kid-friendly functions to make your child associate happy thoughts with the dentist.
Do what makes your child comfortable.
If you child needs to have you come back in the room during their dental visit, do so. If your child feels comfortable bringing a stuffed animal to their visit or listening to music through earbuds during a dental cleaning or procedure, allow them. However, also let them know that whether or not these comforts are used, they will be just fine at the dentist and that they’re only there to help, not to hurt them.
Keep your child’s oral health top notch to help them avoid any “painful” or “scary” dental procedures in the future.
Of course, to prevent any seemingly scary or painful dental procedures for your child in the future, it’s important to help keep your child’s teeth strong and healthy and teach them the value of good oral health.