How To Help Your Child When They Are Scared Of The Dentist

There are many things that scare children. After all, they are relatively new to the world and there are plenty of things they don’t understand. Each of these has the potential to be scary. The good news is that your child is not alone. It’s estimated that one in ten children has a dental phobia.

Even better, you can help your child overcome their fear and see a dentist willingly every six to twelve months.

Set A Good Example

Some children have dental phobia because their parents or friends have a phobia. No matter how you feel about the dentist, you need to set a good example and visit the dentist regularly. Choose a good dentist, such as this Erskineville dentist, and you’ll find the whole process is much easier.

If you have fear then keep confident and cheerful around your child and tell them you’re visiting the dentist. It may be best they don’t come with you as your anxiety will increase, and they will notice it.

However, if you don’t have a phobia then you can take them with you. It’s a good way for them to see what the dentist looks like and become accustomed to visiting. This reduces the fear factor.

Make Their Own Appointment

Don’t try to squeeze their appointment in with your own, even if the dentist is a reasonable distance. This will make it more stressful for everyone. Instead, make them a dental appointment and tell them when it is. Ideally, write it on a calendar so that it is just another thing that is happening.

You can then accompany them to the appointment without any stress.

Visit First

Often, the first visit to a dentist creates fear and starts a phobia. The best way to prevent this from being an issue is to take them to the dentist and make the appointment in person. This gives your child a chance to see the place and meet the receptionist.

It’s harder to be scared when you know what to expect.

If your child still seems particularly cautious about the dentist then speak to them about a preliminary visit. This will give them a chance to meet the dentist and see the chair and associated tools without any treatment being administered. Again, it will make it much easier for them to avoid a fear of the dentist prompted by the unknown.

Distraction

When you are visiting the dentist your child may start to feel more anxious. The best thing you can do is distract them. This can be by playing a game with them, chatting about something, or whatever else you want. The key is to keep their mind busy, this will prevent them from thinking and worrying about the dentist.

That makes it easier to get through the appointment and handle future ones.

Keep It Regular

Your child may only need to see the dentist once a year. However, if you make an appointment every six months you’ll make it a regular occurrence for them. This will quickly make it part of their routine and not something for them to worry about.

It will also help to ensure they have the best possible dental care and that any issues are detected early.

Talk To Them

It’s natural for any child to be concerned about something new and become anxious. One of the best ways to deal with this is to talk to them. That means talking to them before you make their first appointment.

You should explain why visiting the dentist is important and how creating a good habit when they are young will help them to keep their teeth forever. It’s also important to remind them nothing will happen to their teeth without them knowing about it. You can talk them through any process to ensure they are comfortable with what will happen.

Alongside this, you need to give them the opportunity to talk to you about the dentist and what they are concerned about. Providing them with the opportunity to talk about it, combined with you answering their questions, can help to settle their minds and prevent them from developing a phobia.

Start Young

It should be obvious from the above but it is still worth stating. The key to preventing children’s phobia is to start young. This makes it easier for you to be with them at every step of the visit and makes it much less likely that fear of the dentist becomes a phobia that affects their oral health for life.

It can also help to play dentist at home before they visit for the first time. Children love playing and this will make it more fun while preparing them for their first appointment.

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