Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Is Your Child Scared of the Dentist?

A trip to the dentist can be daunting for most adults, but the sights and sounds of the dental treatment room can be particularly scary for young children. Dental practices are filled with strange noises, unfamiliar people and smells, and white masks, and your child may wonder what on earth is going to happen when they sit in the waiting room.

Feeling nervous about seeing the dentist is common. Almost all adults admit to feeling a degree of apprehension when sitting in the waiting room, while some people suffer from such intense fear that they avoid the dental chair altogether. For children, going to the dentist can be a scary prospect, but it is important that they go for regular dental checks. Therefore, getting your child used to the sights, sounds and smells of the treatment room as early as possible is a great idea.

If your child is nervous about seeing a dentist or you are preparing for your first family visit, here are some tips:

Don’t show your nerves

It is common to feel nervous when faced with a trip to the dentist, but studies show that children pick up on their parents’ fears. If you show that you are anxious or concerned, this is likely to rub off on your child and affect their disposition. Try to listen to your own advice; you will probably find yourself telling your child that there is nothing to worry about, that the dentist is very friendly and the appointment will be over in no time, so take your own pearls of wisdom into account and try to remain relaxed.

Make the trip fun

This may sound almost impossible, especially if you suffer from dental anxiety, but making your child’s trip to the dentist fun will help them to view it as a positive experience. It will also prevent them from feeling worried or anxious when they see their dentist. Make the trip sound exciting so that they look forward to going, play games with them and read books while you wait so that they feel calm and relaxed. When your child is in the dental chair, talk to them about their teeth and comfort them. Your dentist can also help to make the dental chair fun and many go out of their way to make the process enjoyable.

Prepare your child

There are some really good books out there that tell stories about children going to the dentist. Books can help to inform children about what happens at the dentist and prepare them for their own visit. They will be able to see that going to the dentist is something everyone does and nothing to worry about.

Reward good behavior

Most of us remember getting a sticker for being brave when we went to see the doctor or dentist when we were little and this small gesture can make a huge difference. Children look forward to going to the dentist so that they can show that they are very brave and then they get to show off their toy, sticker or badge.

Author bio: This post was written by Rich from where you can learn more about helping your child to overcome their dental fears and achieve the smile of their dreams.

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