14 Ways To Help Your Kids Overcome Fear Of Dentists
Like many children, your kid might be afraid of the dentist. Taking your kid to the dentist can be a nightmare for most parents. Colgate reports that dentist phobia and anxiety affects up to 40 million individuals in the US. In most cases, these problems prevent many patients from receiving the required dental care to stay healthy, clean and wear stunning smiles.
If your kid has a dentist phobia, make sure you address the problem immediately. Patience, time and communication are essential to helping your child accept going to the dentist. In this post, we share effective ways to assist your kids in overcoming the fear of visiting dentists and help them have clean and healthy teeth.
1. Arrange a Pre-Appointment Meeting
A simple meet and greet with the dentists will help ease the fear of your kids. The meeting will allow your kids to get familiar with the dentistry services and workers. Additionally, it will allow the dentist to learn more about his new patient, create rapport and begin the preliminary step towards establishing a firm relationship.
2. Mind Your Language
When discussing the trip to the dentist with your kid, avoid using negative terms such as pain, injections or hurting terms. Emphasize on favorable terms such as healthy and clean teeth. Additionally, you can utilize child-friendly words to explain the different dental processes, equipment, and issues. Instead of saying cavities, you can use phrases such as sugar bugs to explain different health issues. Children-friendly words are meant to fool the kid as they are utilized to create a positive experience when your child visits the dentist.
Check out related pieces to help you in talking and dealing with your child. Check out “5 Fun Things to do When You Are a Stay at Home Mom” for more info.
3. Talk About the Dental Appointment in Advance
Your kid needs to know about the dental appointment early. If he or she starts asking numerous questions, make sure to keep everything simple. Uphold a positive attitude and never tell the kid that everything will be fine. In case you do that, and the dentist finds out that your kid has severe dental issues, your kid will lose trust in the dentist and you.
4. Organize a Fictitious Dental Appointment
This practice is essential, especially when you want to help your kids lessen the fear of visiting dentists. By organizing a pretend dental visit at your house, you will help your kid get ready for the real visit to a dental specialist. In the course of the fictitious dental appointment, count his or her teeth and use a mirror to describe how the doctor examines the teeth. It is essential to avoid drilling sounds or other dental facility sounds that may make the kid’s anxiety or fear level increase.
5. Go to a Pediatric Dentist Rather Than a General Oral Dentist
Since you trust your family oral dentist, you might be tempted to take your kid there. Besides, you know their facility, they accept insurance, and you feel satisfied. Nevertheless, they don’t offer the services of a pediatric dentist. Every pediatric dentist must go through an extra two years in the dental learning institution where he or she extensively studies the mouths of the little ones.
Additionally, during this course, they learn all the stages and aspects of children’s growth; hence, they understand how to assist kids and youths emotionally when they visit the office. Lastly, the pediatric dentists will utilize friendly terms to assist lessen anxiety and fear of your kids. Alternatively, a pediatric dental specialist is the ideal place for your kids since they are trained to treat children and not teeth only.
Enjoying the read so far? Be sure to also join our Facebook Group after this read to see what other mothers are saying about taking their kids to the dentist and see their techniques to helping their kids overcome that fear.
6. Develop Exciting and Encouraging Stories As a Reference
Children depend on their parents to gain knowledge concerning their world. You can assist the child in establishing an affirmative attitude about the dentist through narrating exciting and encouraging stories. For instance, ensure you give them positive views about visiting the dental specialist days before the actual date. Tell them how much you love clean, white, shiny teeth, tell them how good it feels when your teeth are sparkling clean and how friendly the doctor is. During that time do not mention anything that will instill fear. Being positive about the dental visit will make the kid relax and be eager for the upcoming appointment.
7. Try to Make the Kid Comfortable With Individuals Looking in Their Mouth
From a tender age, teach your kid to brush and floss teeth regularly. However, never stop at that point. Try to play fun games that imitate what the professional will request them to do, such as opening their mouths to allow other people to see and touch is not scary but fun. You can play the dinosaur or shark game: this game seeks to help you see how wide the kid can open the mouth. Once you tell the kid, you are playing dinosaur, mention that the dinosaur opens their mouth for many hours. Request your child to open his or her mouth for 30 seconds like a dinosaur.
8. Visit the Pediatric Dentist When No Services Required
The majority of pediatric dentists allow you to come with your kids to their offices for the initial consultation before the dental services are administered to ease the fear. The visit plays a vital role in assuring the kid that a facility is a nice place, and the dentists are welcoming individuals, instead of creepy surgeons in masks. Allow them to see the beautiful and exciting toys they play with when they come back for subsequent visits.
Driving around in a minivan to that dentist appointment? Check out our fun article “When Are You Ready To Be a Minivan Mom?” to see what a “minivan mom” is all about and if you fit that category.
9. Don’t Be Late For the Appointment
Dental nervousness and fears is a type of stress. When kids are under pressure, they want enough time to cool and relax. Rushing a few minutes before the dental appointment implies that they won’t have enough time to calm down and adjust to the new environment. Additionally, you will also be distracted and stressed when you are trying to complete your documentations before the doctor calls your kid’s name. The time you need depends on your kid. If he only needs 10 minutes to calm down, then that’s awesome! Other kids might require more than that. They might need up to 30 minutes to walk in the office, go to the washroom and embrace their mother before they reduce the stress.
10. Book Regular Appointments
Making the child familiar with the facility helps in alleviating the anxiety. So, a great way to assist your kid in lessening dental anxiety is making sure their visits to the dental offices are frequent. Furthermore, regular appointments will decrease the possibilities of complex dental procedures. Therefore, less potential for negative experiences at the dental office.
11. Let the Professionals Talk to the Kid
As a parent, you might try to comfort your kid when he or she seems scared. The majority of kids feel comforting when the parent holds their hands and gives an encouraging smile. However, you may end up giving commands, offering rewards or threatening your kid when undergoing the dental procedure. Allow the professionals to talk to the child. This method assists calm the kid since they don’t need to feel confused about who they should listen to, the dentist or mother?
Additionally, listening to the dentist, it makes it easy for the kid’s mind to process and follow the required instructions for dental procedures to continue smoothly. Lastly, the pediatric dentist team understands the right words to use to reduce fears.
Be sure you also go check out “10 Ideas to Keep Your Toddlers Entertained” to see techniques to keep your children entertained at home or in any other setting.
12. Concentrate on the Affirmative Even After the Dental Visit
Irrespective of how your kid behaves, or what you learn during the visit, ensure you emphasize the positive. Compliment the kid for the things he or she did well. For example, maybe they played well in the waiting lobby with other kids, or they thanked the staff member who assisted them to collect the prize after the process. Irrespective of how little winnings can be, celebrate them. While doing so, you will have a chance to reassure your kid that they had a successful visit to the dentist.
13. Discard Your Fears
Dental specialists see fearful children all the time. They cry, yell, vomit and even refuse to cooperate. In some cases, parents make the experience worse by distressing about what the doctor will think about their kid due to those behaviors. Note that the specialist knows that it’s the dental fear triggering those habits and not a reflection of the kid’s real way or parenting habits. If you think it’s hard to be in the dentist’s office when your kid is undergoing the procedure, you can step outside for some minutes. The professionals will ensure your kid is comfortable while you are away. This way, you will help the situation by putting your emotions aside during this stressful time.
14. Embrace the Role Model Mood
According to research, parents, children inherit the dentist’s fears from their parents. Since positive emotions are transmittable, it is vital that parents discuss their past dental visits to the child in a pleasant way. But make sure you don’t mention or display any fear about the dental processes in the presence of kids. Also, do not make the mistake of taking your kids with you to your own dental appointment. This is because some parents feel anxious when they visit the dentist and somehow the anxiety is felt by the child.
Your kids look up to you. Make sure you go check out “How to Set Priorities as a Stay-at-Home Mom” to see how you can be a great example for your children at home.
Thank you for reading with us today! Let us know in the comments below how your kids are reacting to taking them for a check-up.
Check out related articles to motherhood like “12 Ways to Get Your Kids to Help Clean” or “6 Money Saving Challenges To Improve Your Finances“. And lastly, don’t forget that we’re on Instagram and Pinterest. Check us out for more fun content on the ups and downs of motherhood. See you there!
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