According to research, around 20 percent of kids are actively scared of going to the dentist. They imagine all sorts of horrors await them while they’re sitting in the chair.
For parents, this can be distressing. You don’t want to see your child suffer, but at the same time, you know that dental trips are necessary. Without them, your child’s health could deteriorate rapidly.
In this post, we take a look at some of the strategies that you can use to reduce their fears.
Don’t Talk Negatively About The Dentist
Using terms like “drilling” and “extraction” are enough to put the fear of God into many children. The idea of somebody using what sound like DIY tools in their mouths isn’t exactly pleasant.
As parents, therefore, you’ll want to avoid this kind of language. Instead, focus on the positives of going to the dentists. Things like making their teeth “stronger” or “healthier” can work wonders. You can also talk positively when you have to go to the dentist.
Bring Them To Your Appointments
Pediatric dentistry often occurs alongside regular adult dentistry. Parents and children go to the dentist at the same time, even if the child doesn’t need a checkup.
When you take your child to the dentist or orthodontist and they see how calm and relaxed you are, they pick up similar vibes. They’re much more likely to perceive their own situation as positive.
Go For A Drive To The Dental Office Before Your Child’s Appointment
Sometimes, just going somewhere new can be a little scary for your child. Therefore, it’s a good idea to quickly drop by the dental practice and introduce them to it. Going inside can help them become more accustomed to the sights, smells and sounds of the place.
If you can, try to have a conversation with the member of staff at the reception desk. They can talk to the child about what happens at the dentist and what they can expect. Just a simple conversation is often enough to put their fears to rest.
Don’t Promise Rewards
Going to the dentist should feel like a pleasant experience for your child. If you offer them rewards, then they might start to get suspicious and worry about what’s in store for them.
Try Sedation Dentistry
Sometimes kids are already distressed and there’s not much that you can do to placate their fears. Therefore, you might want to consider sedation dentistry with them.
When explaining sedation, you’ll want to point out that it takes away their fears. They’re much less likely to be apprehensive once the drugs take effect, and they probably won’t know what’s happening during the procedure. It’s a kind way to reduce stress for kids who have phobias of dental treatments, particularly extractions.
Play Dentist At Home
Lastly, you might want to play dentist at home to prepare your child for the dental clinic itself. Sit them in a reclining chair and then use a clean implement to simulate what the dentist will do when they look inside their mouth.