Let’s face it, many children are afraid of the dentist (even the really old ones). We’ve come up with a few steps you can do to help your child, old or young, overcome their fear of the dentist!
One of our main goals is to help children have a fun, healthy and positive view of going to the dentist. We feel that preventing and alleviating the fear associated with dental visits is important in encouraging future overall oral health. Adults who are not afraid to go to the dentist are more likely to keep up with regular visits and be proactive in the care of their teeth. We also believe that parents can play a vital role by working with us as a team. Here are four steps you can take in helping your child not be afraid of the dentist.
Schedule an informal visit.
Introduce your child to the dentist outside of any procedure. The first visit to your dentist should be relaxed and non-formal. Starting early usually ensures that this visit can be more of a “meet and greet” and won’t involve any major procedures. They can meet their dentist, hygienist and assistant while looking at office and becoming familiar with the surroundings.
Use positive language.
Avoid using negative words when talking about the dental visit. As we mentioned in our previous post on finding a dental home, it’s important to stay away from words that connote fear. Avoid saying things like drill, pain, hurt and shot.
Evaluate your own feelings.
Understand your own fear. Recent studies have shown that a parent’s own fears of the dentist are transferred to your child. Evaluate how much of your fears are substantiated. Consider which conversations about your own dental care are appropriate for your child to hear.
Visit Your Dental Professionals Outside the Office
Introduce your child to their dentist, hygienist and assistant outside the office in a fun, welcoming environment. This will allow your little one time to begin the relationship with their dental professional and keep it a positive interaction. Slave Lake Dental often hosts community events such as swim nights, movie nights, skating, and family fun days! These events are a fantastic time to come out and meet our team and best of all they are fun packed and free! Call our office today to see when our next community event is!
Make a Plan.
Prepare for the dentist. Make going to the dentist a truly fun event. You can build excitement for the experience and plan a fun day that centers around the visit. Try to avoid being rushed and unprepared.
Above all else, it’s important for you as a parent to stay positive. Your child will sense your mood and will respond to it.