Is Your Child Afraid of the Dentist? Here’s How to Help Them

Afraid of the Dentist

Is your child afraid of the dentist? Or maybe you’re concerned that your child will have a fear of the dentist as you or your spouse might have had when younger. Children aren’t born with a natural fear of the dentist, so if you have a child who is afraid of going to the dentist. here are some tips to make it go easier.

If You’re Anxious, They’re Anxious

Kids are great at picking up signals from their parents, so if you’re anxious, they’ll become anxious about the upcoming visit, or so says a study in theInternational Journal of Paediatric Dentistry as reported by Fox News. Family members are often the main reason the kids get afraid of the dentist. If someone in your family is fearful, chances are the kids will be too. So, no matter how anxious you are about seeing the dentist, become a good actor for your kids’ sakes.

Get Your Child Used to Oral Hygiene Early

It’s never too early to start good dental care with your child. Even before the first tooth appears, you should be using a baby toothbrush gently on your child’s gums to clean and stimulate them. This will get him or her use to someone looking in his or her mouth. Once your baby has his or her first tooth, you need to take your child to a Chastain GA children’s dental practice for your child’s first check up. This should be before your baby turns one year of age.

Take Your Child to a Pediatric Dentist

Rather than bringing your child to general dentists, with all the sights and sounds that come with a general office, find a pediatric dentist for your child. Pediatric dentists usually have waiting rooms with toys, bright colors so the place looks cheerful, and the dentist and staff are sensitive to the emotional needs of children. When your child goes into such an environment, it’s less scary than going to a dentist whose office is geared toward adults.

Play Act the Appointment Ahead of Time

You can greatly reduce your child’s anxiety by playing dentist with him or her. Use a toothbrush and pretend you’re looking at your child’s teeth. Talk to the child about good oral hygiene and the importance of brushing teeth. Then, when you’re done, give the child a reward such as read a favorite book, or play with them.

Read a Book to Your Child

Get a positive children’s book on going to the dentist and read it to your child. Encourage your child to ask questions and respond positively and honestly. Don’t dwell on negative things that could happen, but rather positive outcomes. For example, if your child is worried about cavities, you can say, “if you have a cavity, the dentist will fix it, but I doubt you do because you brush your teeth regularly.”

Bring Toys and Books to the Appointment

If you’re not sure the dentist will have an age appropriate toy there, or if your child has a favorite book, bring it along so that your child has something fun to do while waiting for his or her appointment.

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