With more than 75% of the world’s population suffering from mild to serious fear of the dentist, it is a wonder that there aren’t more people with terrible dental issues. Dental phobia is fairly common, and more so among children. However, because of this fear, these children are deprived of receiving the much-needed dental care.
As a Germantown dental service that caters to all seeking the best in dental health, Advanced Dental Center has had its fair share of children who have been most afraid of coming to the dentist. As such, we have put together several tips that have not only helped us, but parents too. Here, we share these tips with you.
Don’t Delay the Visit
Some parents think that it will be better if their child is old enough for their dentist’s appointment, in hopes that they’d be in a better position to understand what’s going on with them. However, more often than not, this only cements the nightmare in their mind that perhaps the doctor is someone who they need to fear. The best way to make your child used to the dentist is by taking them as soon as the first tooth becomes visible so that they become familiar with the dentist.
Don’t Go into Detail
Even adults get scared when someone talks about the dentist drilling into their teeth and poking their gums. When explaining a dentist’s trip to your child, adjust your vocabulary so that you emphasize more on the maintenance of your child’s teeth, rather than any pain or shots. Also, do not tell them that everything is going to be fine. If they end up getting treatment, they will not only get more afraid of the dentist, but they will also lose their trust in you.
Play it out
Consider playing a pretend dentist appointment before your actual appointment. Show them how the whole procedure is going to play out. Use a toothbrush and a mirror, and show them how many teeth they have. Let them check their teeth and tell them how important it is that their teeth remain healthy. The key is to get them familiar with the routine so that they don’t feel as intimidated when they’re in the actual dentist’s chair.
Don’t Lose Patience
It isn’t fair to assume that your child will perfectly understand everything about dentists. If they exhibit fear, cry, whine or wiggle, do not lose your patience. Remember that your dentist has been working with children for a long time, so they have seen their fair share of tantrums. Instead, let the dentist guide your child through the process. Also, please remember that this is not the time for tough love, so if your child asks you to stay close or hold their hand, do it so that they feel comforted.
Lastly, remember that it does not do to bride your child with something sweet if they behave during their appointment. Not only will this defeat the purpose, but it will also send the wrong message to your child as they may wonder the reason for the bribe.