Dentist visits are necessary for kids’ oral health. However, from a child’s point of a view, a trip to the dentist can be a scary event. Many children face anxiety about dentist visits for a variety of reasons, often because they think it will hurt or simply because they’re unsure of what to expect. Regardless of why your child is afraid of the dentist, they can overcome it with your help.
At Woodbridge Kids, we want to ensure your child’s visits are as comfortable as possible, which is why we’ve put together these tips for parents to help your little ones dealing with dentist fear. Keep reading to learn how you can help ease anxiety and help your kids overcome their fear of the dentist.
Keep It Simple
Avoid including too many details when preparing for a visit to your dentist in Woodbridge, especially for the first visit. Including more details will raise more questions and add more information about extra treatments, like fillings, that can cause unnecessary anxiety.
When discussing an upcoming visit, keep the discussion simple and positive, but make sure not to give them false hope. Avoid telling children that “everything will be fine” in case your child ends up needing a more serious treatment, they may lose trust in both you and the dentist.
Use Positive Language
Avoid using scary words like “shot”, “hurt”, or “pain” when discussing the dentist with your children. Instead, try telling your child that the dentist is just going to check their smile and count their teeth, using positive phrases like “clean”, “strong”, and “healthy”, to make the visit sound fun and good.
Although a common tactic, it’s recommended for parents not to promise children a special treat for behaving well at the dentist. Telling your children “if you don’t cry or fuss, you’ll get a lollipop” could cause them to think “what’s so bad about the dentist that I might want to cry?” Also, promising a sugary treat sends the wrong message after a dentist emphasizes avoiding sweets for clean, healthy teeth.
Rather than bribing with treats, praise your child after the visit for their good behaviour and bravery to encourage them to stand strong in the future.
Teach Children the Importance of Dental Care
It’s important to teach your children that visiting the dentist is a necessity, not a choice, so that they understand that the dentist is something they should expect for excellent oral health. Explain that the dentist will help keep teeth strong enough for them to eat and ensure their smile stays healthy.
Consider Light Sedation
Light sedation is another option to assist anxious children who have trouble sitting still long enough to be properly treated, and can help put your child at ease so that our dentists can safely and properly proceed with their treatment. At Woodbridge kids, our pediatric dentists are trained to provide several levels of sedation based on an assessment of your child and their treatment.