How to Stop Your Child Becoming Afraid of the Dentist

In a lot of adults, the dentist is a common phobia. In most cases, this dates back to a childhood experience when a trip to the kids dentist for a filling or other procedure was painful or caused anxiety. Of course, even if you yourself are afraid of dental check-ups, you still want your child to have healthy teeth, and naturally you also don’t want them to feel the same sense of fear many other people do when they have to experience these necessary visits, if you need a place to take them then contact this children’s dental care specialist to set up an appointment.

While you can do a lot at home to make sure your child isn’t likely to have cavities or other dental problems in early life, for example using a good fluoride toothpaste and teaching them about good personal oral hygiene, you also need to make sure that when they go to the general dentist for check-ups, even the painless part of having teeth checked over doesn’t make them scared. Here are some tips:

Start Young, and Keep the Same Dentist

According to dentistry specialists, your child should be having dental check-ups regularly from as soon as their first teeth appear. This is best for their teeth, but also in making them feel like going to the dentist is not an unfamiliar or frightening occurrence. If you can (i.e. if you don’t move to a new location while the child is young), always go to the same clinic and if possible see the same dentist. This will make everything become familiar to your child after the first couple of visits, and they may even like going and seeing the nurses and the dentist that they come to know. 

Don’t Pass on Your Own Fears

When talking to your child about seeing a dentist, don’t pass on your own fears. Even if you don’t consciously tell your child that dental visits are scary, by telling them things like they need to be ‘brave’ you are implying that something unpleasant is going to happen. If you instead use positive language, for example telling them the dentist first of all needs to count their teeth and make sure they are clean and healthy and strong, then this implies there is a benefit to going, rather than that it is something nasty that has to be endured.

Don’t Over Explain

The more you tell your child about dentists, the more questions they will ask and the more anxieties will build in their minds. Tell them only that they have to have regular visits where the dentist checks their teeth are strong and growing nicely, and that if there are any problems the dentist will know what to do to fix them. Getting into talking about the potential for fillings and other painful sounding things can make them nervous about treatments they may not even need yet.

For many children, going to a good dentist can be a positive experience where they get some good attention and know that they are being taken care of. Do all you can to stop dental check-ups becoming a source of fear for them!

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