If the thought of visiting the dentist immediately sends butterflies to your stomach, you are not alone. About 60% of the population dreads those trips; dental anxiety is very common to both adults and children. And if you allow this fear to grow, it will affect your child’s health. Therefore, read these six helpful tips that will help your child to overcome the fear of the dentist quickly.
How to prepare your kids for the dentist?
- Try and start the dental visit when they are young.
The earlier they get exposed to dental check-ups, the earlier they get comfortable with the idea of dental visits and immediately provide them with a dental home. As a result, this quickly gets them familiar with the dental experience. It will also help them understand why it is essential to take care of their teeth. You could start dental check-ups as early as one year or as soon as the first tooth appears.
- Try and make the visits simple.
When starting with dental check-ups try and keep the first visits very simple, avoid having too many details. If the first visit is too detailed, it will lead to several questions asked, and as you try and explain the procedure, this might make your child very anxious. Also, ensure you are practical and don’t lie about the visits, you don’t want your child to lose trust in the dentist on just the first visit.
- Try and watch the language you use
Children are curious creatures and anything new they are getting into be sure there will be a list of questions. Try to avoid using negative words when explaining, words like pain, shot, or hurt might scare them. Alternatively use clean and healthy teeth, even when trying to explain dental complications. Using encouraging words does not fool your child; instead, you are instilling the positive attributes of a regular dental check-up.
- Try and show up a little earlier
Dental visits can be stressful, and when your child is stressed, they need to be given extra time to get used to the new environment and calm down. Therefore, if you reach your dental appointment 20 minutes to an hour earlier will help him get acquainted with the new place, but this all depends on how long it takes your child to relax.
- Try out a mock dental
A mock dental might also help in calming him down, recreate a dental check-up at home, maybe count a few of his teeth, use a mirror so that he gets an idea of how the dentist will be performing the check-up. As much as you want to recreate the dental check-up, avoid using a drill, this might make him too anxious and fear visiting the dentist.
- Got to a paediatric dentist, not a regular one
A paediatric dentist is the best place to start when easing his nerves. These doctors are well trained to handle children and know how to calm them down if they are too scared for a simple check-up. And what makes a paediatric dentist better is the toys and games they have laid out in the waiting room, this goes a long way in distracting your child for a few minutes before they go in to see the dentist.
Getting ahead of your child’s fear is essential, and the above tips should make your next dental visit much more comfortable. It would help if you are prepared for some fussing; children don’t like strangers intruding their personal space, the probing and dental examination might be uncomfortable for him. Ensure you stay calm if the fussing is too much probably come back another day, don’t give up.