Fear of the Dentist: 4 Simple Ways To Help Your Child Overcome It

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Kids usually fear to go to the dentist. This may be simply because they do not know what to expect, or they think they will get hurt. This is normal. Sometimes, even adults have this fear. But as parents, we need to help our kids overcome this feeling and help ease their anxiety whenever they visit the dentist. After all, this is something that our kids will have to do regularly as they grow, even into adulthood.

Your dentists at Kidsmile listed simple ways that you can use to help your child overcome anxiety, in case he or she is fearful when you go for a dental visit.

Start Early

Visiting a pediatric dentist while your child is still young, ideally around his or her first birthday, is a good foundation for a good and healthy dental health. It is also a good way to let your child feel that a dental clinic is a safe place. Starting them young also establishes familiarity with the dentist and the facility. As your child grows, he or she will have that feeling of comfort and ease, with the dentist not being a stranger anymore, and the facility being a familiar place already.

Set Expectation, But Keep It Simple

Of course, not all dental visits are the same. If it is a regular visit for preventive treatment, let your child know about it and perhaps even do a little role-playing just to demonstrate how it will be. It will help in making the visit more fun and light for your child. It is important that you talk to your child about the visit especially if it is something that will make him or her feel a little pain or discomfort. As much as possible, be honest with the dental procedure and help your child set expectations to avoid painful surprises in the process. Saying that it will not hurt when it may possibly will can cause your child to not believe you anymore the next time. For more complicated procedures, allow the pediatric dentist to be the one to explain to your child. They are trained and experienced enough to describe tools and dental procedures in a way that is easier to understand for your child.

Be Prepared for Tantrums and Tears

Despite our efforts to ease the fear, the reality is, there may still be instances when your child will feel scared, complain, and cry. Do not worry, it is perfectly normal. And we as pediatric dentists are prepared for those instances too and we will try our best to help you and your child go through the process without the fears and tears, so to speak. This is one reason why pediatric dental facilities are colorful, animated, and kid-friendly things as they are aimed to take away your child’s attention on the procedure and help them focus on something else instead. Parents are usually by their children’s side too when needed to also calm and provide comfort.

Teach Them the Value of Dental Care

As your child grows, we advise that you talk to him or her and share the value of proper dental care. Allow them to understand the need to take care of one’s teeth and gums for a healthier smile. Stressing to your child the importance of maintaining good teeth and the dentist’s role in helping him or her achieve it will come a long way.

Sources:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/dental-visits/dental-fear-of-the-pediatric-dentist-the-parents-role-0414

https://www.parents.com/health/dental/kids-overcome-fear-dentists/

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/easing-childrens-fears-dentist

https://www.workingmother.com/afraid-of-the-dentist

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