Ease Your Child’s Dental Fear
If adults have dental fear and anxiety, imagine how kids feel. A child’s perspective of a visit to the dentist can seem like a very scary event. This is especially true for their first visit. After all, a stranger is sticking odd, pointy, loud objects in their mouth that can taste strange! Thus you may ask how to ease your child’s dental fear.
Since children have a more limited understanding of the world, you may be thinking this is not such a good idea. In reality though, visiting the dentist from a young age will set your child up to recognizing the dentist as the place we go for healthy teeth. Further, this will instill healthy habits for years to come. It is encouraged that you bring your child to the dentist by the age of 1 or when their first tooth is visible.
Simple is Best
To ease your child’s dental fear, avoid adding too many details. For example, you are telling your son or daughter about the dentist. Explaining that they may need a filling or an extra treatment can cause undue anxiety. Additionally, keep a positive attitude about the dentist! They will mirror your thinking towards/perspective of the dentist.
Use “Kid –Friendly” Words
Words like “shot”, “hurt”, or “pain” will not ease your child’s dental fear, so do not use them in front of your child. Notice the vocabulary used by the dentist and staff while at the dental office. For the kids, cavities might be called “sugar bugs”, or the dental examination may be referred to as “checking your smile” and “counting your teeth”. As you can imagine, such words are easily understood by kids and create a positive experience.
Use Your Imagination
Kids love to play pretend. Why not help them prepare for the dentist with a pretend visit? Pull out the toothbrush and act like you are the dentist. Then allow them to clean the baby doll’s teeth or the teddy bear’s teeth. As a result, your child now has a basic, positive view of their upcoming visit.
Healthy Teeth Starts Early
Ease your child’s dental fear with these four easy steps! In addition to preparing your child, prepare yourself! Remember to expect there may be some fussing and difficulty. However, bringing your child to the dentist from an early age will set them up to having healthy teeth for life.