Keeping Kids Calm At The Dentist
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One of the most common fears that children have is a fear of the dentist. Mostly, it’s a fear of the unknown, which is evident when you have a child afraid of a dentist they’ve never seen before. It’s a very common form of anxiety for children, and it can often keep some children from getting the dental care they require.
As a parent, it’s your job to be able to get your child to an opticians office, or a dentist office, or the doctor when they need it. Children don’t often have to like it but the good news is that there are gentle ways to help them to get the care that they need without them being afraid. Your child doesn’t have to be pushed or bullied to go to the dentist to get the help they need. With the tips below, we can help you to get your children to the dentist calmly.
- Prepare in advance. One of the biggest parenting mistakes any parent can make, is to spring an appointment on the child without giving them any time to prepare and get ready. It may seem like a good idea to wait until the last minute but the shock of the appointment can cause more upset than just explaining what’s going to happen. It’s so much easier to be able to allow your child to express their fears in advance so you have time to make sure that they are happy. This is real to them so even if you can’t understand them, they feel the fear anyway. Be patient, don’t tell them any horror stories about the dentist, and make sure they feel comfortable about the appointment on the day.
- Answer questions honestly. The likelihood here is that your child is going to have a lot of questions about what’s going to happen at the dentist. Whilst you don’t want to scare them, it’s important to be honest about what to expect, as this will help them to prepare themselves better. You could even arrange to meet with your dentist before the appointment, so that they can understand that it’s not scary.
- Choose a children’s dentist. When you go to the dentist, you see a regular dentist who knows how to deal with adult teeth. Of course, they’ll also know how to deal with children’s teeth, but often they are not trained in specifics. This means they never really learn the techniques to keep children calm, and be an entertainer for children when they’re at their most scared. If you choose a dentist that deals with specific children, you’re choosing someone who understands children and will be able to be patient with them.
- The art of distraction. Not only do you want to encourage your child to be okay at the dentist, you should work out some techniques of distracting them from what’s happening around them. Perhaps offering them time with an iPad to watch cartoons at the corner of their eye while they are having treatment, or you could have them hold their favourite toy. This way, you can distract them from what’s going on and help them to stay calmer for longer
*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.