5 Tips for Easing Your Child’s Fear of the Dentist

Family dentist

Do you have a child that is fearful of the dentist? Is it an overwhelming task to bring them in for their routine dental visits? Many children do not like or are afraid of the dentist. Yet, routine dental care and regular visits with the family dentist are very important, especially to a young child. Keep these tips in mind when it comes time to bring your child in for their dental checkup exam.

Prepare them ahead of time
Some parents may attempt to surprise their child of their upcoming dental visit to prevent fear and excessive complaining. However, it may actually be more beneficial to prepare your child ahead of time. Allow them to plan for and understand their upcoming visit. Let them schedule the appointment on the calendar and inform you of its upcoming date. Not only will this prepare them ahead of time, but it will also teach them the responsibility of making and keeping medical appointments.

Make a fun day out of it
The entire day does not have to be ruined because of a visit to the dentist. If possible, allow your child to get out of school early for their dental exam. After the exam, take them to lunch at their favorite place. Plan a favorite activity following lunch. The child may still dread the upcoming dental visit, but will look forward to the entertaining events surrounding it. Eventually, the negative vision of the dentist will become a positive one.

Choose a child friendly dentist
Many dentists offer child appointments. However, this does not mean that the dentist is child friendly. A child friendly dental professional is usually a dentist that specializes in the care of children?s teeth. The difference is in their specialized knowledge and in the setup of their dental office. The dental office is catered toward children with games, toys, and other fun and exciting things. More than 40% of children have dental cavities by the time they enter kindergarten. This is because many parents do not want to deal with bringing their fearful child to the dentist. Choosing a child friendly dentist can be helpful in reducing their fear and ensuring they get the dental services they need.

Expose them to the dentist office early on
Many children learn their fear of the dentist from their parents. They pickup on their parents dread or anxiety of upcoming dental appointments and begin to view them the same way. Parents who regularly cancel their own appointments also show children that it is okay to miss dental appointments. It is important to give your children a great impression of the dentist. Keep all dental appointments, even tooth whitening ones. Bring them to each appointment to make them comfortable with the office setting. Eventually, they will want their own turn in the dental exam chair.

Teach them about good oral health
Children with poor diets and poor oral health are more likely to have to visit the dentist. They are also more likely to need painful dental services. Teaching children about good oral health can help them develop a routine that will prevent these dental problems from occurring. Children with poor oral health are three times more likely to miss school because of dental pain. This is due to untreated dental problems. Currently, at least one in five Americans has one or more untreated cavities, and the poorer you are, the more likely you are to be one of the untreated 20%, at least among adults. Teach your children about good dental health from an early age.

There are too many adults who regularly skip routine dental visits. This leads to a poor example for children who should be receiving regular dental checkups. Additionally, many children develop a strong fear of the dentist. It is important to teach children at a young age about good dental health. You can do this by choosing a child friendly dentist, teaching them about diet and dental health, and by setting a good example.

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