Fearing the dentist is no laughing matter; many adults avoid going to the dentist entirely because we’re literally terrified! But when it comes to our children, having good oral health is absolutely crucial to their general health and helping them grow to be fit and well!
But if your little one has a fear of the dentist chair, then when they’re due a check-up, it can put dread into us as parents as well. No one wants to see their little one distressed, so we try bargaining, begging, pleading and anything else we can think of to help get the experience over with as quickly as possible for everyone involved! However, these are only temporary solutions – and in the long run, could make matters worse. So, here you’ll find some helpful tips and tricks to help you and your little one have a positive dental experience and hopefully banish that fear of the dentist forever!
Speak to your dentist
We know that dentists are very clever, and they specialise in lots of areas, and we all have a preferred one. Someone we feel comfortable with if we’re going for a filling in Glasgow, a veneer in Essex, a check-up in York or a dental implant Weybridge, Surrey But did you know that there are some dentists that specialise in nervous patients? Particularly children. If in doubt, always speak to your dental professional, or give the reception team a call and let them know that your child has a phobia of visiting the dentist.
They can then take steps to make sure your child has a comfortable experience from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave.
Every child loves playing dress up and make-believe. So, why not get involved and start a dentist game? Playing “dentist games” is a great ice-breaker before you head out to your appointment. Get your child to lay down on the sofa or a reclining chair and make it fun!
Count their teeth with them, and show them their face in a mirror so they can watch. If you have a sticker to give them afterwards then even better – and don’t forget to let them do it to you too!
If you have younger children and you’re worried they may develop a fear like their older siblings then the best advice is to start them young. Get them to the dentist as soon as possible, even if they just sit in the chair after your own check-up. Take them with you, let them get used to the environment, the smells the sounds and the friendly faces! Before long, it’ll become a totally normal place to visit and not a scary, dreadful place that smells weird!
Know how to reward
Make sure you know the difference between rewarding your child and bribing them. Ensure your child is being rewarded for being a “big girl/boy” and being grown up – not for making it through a terrible experience that they’ll have to go through again in six months!