Children who’ve had bad experiences with the dentist may not want to see the dentist ever again. They would want to avoid the dentist if at all possible because of fear of pain, fear of the unknown, or fear of a dental injection. As professional dental care is important for your child, helping him overcome dental anxiety is a necessity. Challenging as this may seem, it is the obligation of parents and caregivers to help a child get over dental fear and instill in him the value of regular dental visits. Here are several techniques that you can do to help a child who fears his dentist.
Choose a Dentist who Specializes in Childrens Dentistry
A children’s dentist is trained to handle children. A children’s dentist will know how to tickle a child’s mind, can peak their interest and are able to innate their curiosity. Children often ask questions and the best person to answer them, with regards to dental care, is a children’s dentist. A well-trained, experienced pediatric dentist carefully chooses his/her words when speaking with kids, so that a dental procedure doesn’t appear scary to a child. A pediatric dentist will most likely have a treatment room, specially designed for kids.
Let the Child Choose His Dentist
This will give your child the feeling of control. Choose several childrens dentistry specialists, and then schedule a visit with your child to each dentist on your list. Make the list, but let the child choose the person who will take care of his teeth. This reduces fear of the unknown and lack of control over, what your child deems, as a potentially scary situation.
Make the First Visit a Fun, Friendly Encounter
Talk with the dentist ahead of time and tell him/her that your child is suffering from dental anxiety. A good children’s dentist will be able to help you more, once he/she knows the situation that you’re in. Tell the dentist that you’d want the first appointment to be a fun, friendly meet and greet. No dental treatment will be done, yet the child learns the importance of dental care. A happy dental visit elicits a positive rapport between your child and his dentist.
Read Books to Your Child about Positive Dental Experiences
Head to the nearest bookstore and browse books that tell positive, heartwarming tales about the dentist, the teeth, or a positive dental experience. Choose the book that you feel your child will love, and read the book together later in the day. Always focus on the positive side when telling or reading stories to your child. Avoid saying phrases like, “don’t be afraid”, or “I promise you that it won’t hurt”. Your words may have good intentions but an anxious child easily picks up on the negative side of things, and dwell on them.
Be There for your Child
Sometimes, a child just needs a simple reassurance or pat on the back. Ask your child if he wants you inside the treatment room with him, or if he’s okay with you waiting in the lounge. Be there for your child in lots of other instances, so he feels secure and confident about himself.
For childrens dentistry in Edmond, OK, visit Creative Edge Dentistry. Dr. Kari Bender is a gentle, caring, experienced children’s dentist. She’s also a mom looking out for her children’s best interests. She knows how parents feel when a child resents a dentist’s appointment. She will take the time to meet your child and gain his trust.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia