Guest Post by Anita Ginsburg
For some children, going to the dentist means getting a new toothbrush and getting to pick a prize for a job well done. Unfortunately, for other children, it is downright terrifying.
It seems no matter what you do, your child is petrified and makes the experience hard on both themselves and the dentist. Thankfully, there are things you can do to alleviate their fears.
Continue reading to learn a few ways to ease your child’s fear of the dentist.
Start Going While They’re Still Young
The sooner you take your little one to the dentist, the easier it will be. Doing so provides them with a safe place to go for their dental needs. Many dental experts recommend that you take your child to the dentist around the time they turn one. This way, they learn from a young age that the dentist is their friend, not someone they need to fear.
Nice and Simple
When you plan a dental visit, refrain from telling your child all the details. If you give too many details, it’s just going to raise more questions. Instead, tell them how excited you are to be seeing the dentist and how you can’t wait to see how clean their teeth are.
Children are very impressionable and mostly take on views that are similar to their parents. So, talking about the dentist in a good way will make your child eager to go rather than afraid. However, do not instill false hope into your little one.
If positive reinforcement doesn’t work, keep in mind that light sedation can help your child relax during treatment.
Hold Your Tongue
Whatever you do, do not use words like shots, pain or hurt around your child. Instead, let the dentist use their own words to help them through a scary situation. As they’re looking in your child’s mouth, try telling them things like “They’re searching for sugar bugs to clean off your teeth” or “The dentist is checking your smile and counting your teeth.” It’s important to use positive words and phrases like strong, healthy and clean.
For some children, seeing the dentist is their worst nightmare. And though this is just overactive imagination, it’s important to help you child feel better. Do your best to stay positive and happy, and in most cases, your child will follow suit.