July 1, 2021

How To Stop Your Child From Becoming Scared Of The Dentist

going to the dentist book
Going to the dentist is one of those things we all have to do, whether we like it or not. It’s important not only for our oral hygiene and health, but it’s important to our overall health too. Poor oral health can raise your risk of heart disease, stroke, and a number of other health conditions.
Your relationship with your dentist should start from the moment you get your first tooth. But the reality is, many people develop a phobia of a dentist as a child which can affect them for the rest of their lives, even put them off going to the dentist.

While it’s not impossible to prevent every child from developing a fear of the dentist, there are things you can do to reduce the chances of it happening. 

Talk to them about their teeth 
Make a game of having them brush their teeth or letting you look at how well they have brushed their teeth. This will get them used to people looking in their mouths. It will make it easier for them when a dentist is fitting them for clear braces or a more thorough exam when they’re older. You can make a game of it and sing songs to make it more fun.

Take them to the dentist early
As soon as your baby gets the first tooth, you should schedule an appointment with a dentist, preferably one who specializes in children. They’ll make the experience as fun as possible and as you bring them back in for regular appointments, they’ll get used to the atmosphere. If you can, take them with you to your appointments too, so that they can see that it’s nothing to worry about. Obviously, if you’re having work done, it’s best not to have them there.

Consider sedation for procedures
Your child’s dentist may decide that they need treatment that involves a filling of an extraction. This can be very frightening and stressful for them, and one bad experience is all it takes to trigger a phobia of the dentist for life. Many dentists offer sedation to nervous patients. It’s not as scary as it sounds, it can be very mild, and inhaled and will cause little to no side effects. Talk to your dentist about it and they will be able to tell you if they think it is suitable for your child.

Mind how you talk about the dentist
Children pick up on things that are said, even if you’re not talking to them directly. Avoid saying anything negative about dentists or your own experience with them, even as a joke. Children can’t always identify sarcasm from humour and may form a fear of the dentist based on your reactions to them.

The more positive your child’s attitude towards the dentist, the better chance they have of maintaining good oral health throughout their lifetime. You play a big part in these early, formative stages so it’s important to try and set a good example from the get-go.

Please note that all opinions and thoughts expressed are my own. All rights reserved on photographs and written content Createwithmom © 2010 - 2021. Please Ask First

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