Easing your child’s fear of the dentist
Both parents and dentists play important roles in making a child’s dental appointment a positive experience.
Keep in mind that it may be perfectly normal for children to be a little anxious or fearful. Some may be afraid of strangers or the unknown, others are afraid they may be harmed. A dentist who treats children will know how to cope with your child’s fears and anxiety and put them at ease.
To help the dental visit goes well:
- Explain the importance of maintaining healthy teeth and gums to your child, and that the dentist is a friendly doctor whose job it is to help with this.
- Make it positive. Avoid using words like “hurt” or “painful.” Don’t ask them to be brave; this will imply that something scary may happen.
- Take your child to the dentist at a young age. Preferably before 2 years of age. This is a good opportunity to meet and greet with the friendly dental team and tour the dental practice. They can have a ride in the chair and be introduced to simple dental tools before any treatment is necessary.
- Make dental visits regular (every 6 months). Don’t make it a big deal. When something is routine, it becomes a regular part of life and less unknown or scary.
- Don’t share your own fears with your child. Give them a good start.
- Find a dentist who is good with kids.
At Be Well Dental, our whole team enjoys seeing children. We prepare ourselves to wow your child with a positive experience. We speak in simple language and use demonstrations to help your child understand what we are doing. We build rapport and trust with our patients as we strongly believe that dental anxiety should not be a barrier to good long-term dental health.