4 Ways to Help Kids Overcome Their Fear of the Dentist
Is it a hassle to try and get the kids to go to their dentist appointments? Here’s how you can help them overcome their fear of the dentist once and for all.
We’ve all been there.
A trip to the dentist can be one of the scariest experiences. The quiet waiting room, the unfamiliar machines, the shiny tools– the whole event can be overwhelming, especially if you have a fear of the dentist.
For your child, this experience could be ten times worst! I mean, how can they fully trust a stranger with metallic tools ready to drill holes in your mouth?! Yikes.
Thankfully, we’ve put together tips on how to help your child overcome the fear of the dentist.
1. Start them Young
Sometimes parents make the mistake of starting their child’s dentists visits way too late in the game. More often then not, children feel more at home with dentists that have been there since they can remember. You’d be surprised how your children are able to let loose and get comfortable even when you say big words like “cavities” and “fill-ins”.
2. Play Make Believe
It might sound juvenile, but it works! Sometimes acting out the doctor’s visit can alleviate any insecurity your child might have and calm down his/her fear of the dentist. Set up a chair in the living room and pretend to be the dentist. Talk about cleanings and how much it would cost. Talk about X-rays and look into your child’s mouth. Pretend to grab a toothbrush and clean their teeth! At the end give him/her a sticker and voila! They know what to expect on their big day!
3. Let’s Get Comfy
Everyone knows that being comfortable is major key when it comes to unfamiliar dentist visits. Ask your dentist if your child can bring their favorite stuffed animal or blanket with them to the appointment. Even consider bringing a dental toy! More often than not, comfort is a great distraction. Make your child feel at ease in the waiting room by making jokes or watching Youtube videos that will ease the tension.
4. Be A Good Role Model
It all sounds so simple, right? But a child often tends to pick up habits they see from their parents. So next time you take a trip to the dentist, allow your child to watch the process. Schedule an appointment and explain to them what the dentist is doing. Talk with the dentist and allow your child to see that the dentist is your friend.
P.S. Don’t forget that you are also a role model outside of the dental chair. Allow your child to see your daily dental habits. By brushing your teeth and flossing together, your child will regularly engage in their own dental habits.
There you have it! A handful of ways to make help your child overcome their fear of the dentist. Remember. A trip to the dentist is only as good as you make it. And when you bring your child to ease, everything will go smoothly.
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