Maybe your child had a painful experience with a cavity, or perhaps they've just picked up the idea that dentists are scary from their friends. In any case, your child is now fearful about going to the dentist and you aren't sure what to do about it. Regular dental appointments are key to your child's dental health and no parent wants to see their child scared or anxious. Luckily, there are specific things you can do to help your child overcome their fear:
Find a Kid-Friendly Dental Office
The right dentist makes a huge difference in how your child feels. Look for a family dental practice that really emphasizes how much they love working with kids. The right family dentistry office will go out of their way to make kids comfortable and even help make dental checkups fun. For example, maybe they have fun toys to play with, cool murals to look at, or offer tablets with fun cartoons to watch during cleanings and check-ups.
A good first step is to call the dental office and explain that your child is fearful. They will likely welcome you to bring your child in just to see the office and meet the dentists and staff before the actual appointment. This can go a long way in easing fears.
Be Mindful of Your Own Attitude
Always remember that kids pick up on your own attitude and energy. If you are anxious about the dentist yourself, be mindful of not sharing this with your kids. When speaking about the dentist, aim to remain calm and upbeat. Make it clear that going to the dentist is normal and routine, rather than something scary to be anxious about.
Make It Fun for Them
Try turning that next dentist appointment into a fun day for your child. Consider letting them have the whole day off from school. Ask them if they'd like to do something fun and special after their dentist appointment as a reward for overcoming their fear. This could be going to a new playground, picking out a new toy, or just going for a family bike ride. Having something fun to look forward to right after their appointment may help them associate going to the dentist with positive emotions.
By following these tips, you will help ease your child's worries about going to the dentist and help set them up with healthy dental habits for life. For more information, contact companies like Rupp and Grabowski Family Dentistry.