Why should you be surprised that your child fears going to the dentist? Even adults are fearful of dental appointments. Do you know that an estimated 75% of adult Americans experience some degree of “fear of dentists?” Some 25% also prefer going through unbearable pain than go to the dentist. So the next time your child throws a tantrum about visiting the dentist, don’t be so quick to judge them.
If you have a standing appointment with a pediatric dentist in Eagle Mountain, you should work to convince your kid that going to the dentist is for their own good. While it is not easy, you should be honest with them. You should also be understanding of their anxiety. Take time to explain what to expect during the visit and make sure that they understand why this is important for their dental health.
Kids need to understand what will happen during the visit. If this is the first visit, make sure not to schedule any complicated dental service. If possible, just let the dentist prod and check your kid’s teeth. This is not the time to get a teeth cleaning or any other procedure. Days before the visit to the dentist, do a role-playing game with your kid. Show them what will happen during their dental appointment so that they won’t have to be surprised when the dentist starts prodding on their teeth.
Do not tell your kid that a dental visit is “nothing.” Don’t tell them that they’ll be fine. Chances are that they will undergo a procedure that might be a little painful. If you promise them that they won’t get hurt, they’ll never believe you next time. Instead, explain to them why it’s important to visit the dentist. Maybe even tell them that bigger and more painful problems might happen if they don’t get their teeth checked.
Take a Trip to the Clinic
Ask the dentist or the secretary if you can visit a day or two days earlier. Taking a trip to the dental clinic might comfort your kid. This way, the next time they visit for their appointment, the place won’t feel so strange anymore. Many nurseries and preschools organize trips to a dentist’s clinic. This will introduce the kids to the importance of dental health, as well as the various dental tools and procedures.
Don’t Brandish the Authority Card
Be careful with your words. Don’t use negative words. Don’t associate the dental visit to a negative feeling. Don’t even use your authority to make your child settle down on the dental chair. It can be tricky to use the right words to calm your kids down.
The best example is when kids hurt themselves accidentally. If you make a fuss over it, your kid will instinctively know that something is wrong, and they will cry. But if you act like everything is okay, then they will be able to handle it better.
Don’t be too hard on your child. Dental anxiety is real. Make yourself a source of comfort to them, especially once you are in the dental clinic. Sometimes, the simple act of holding their hand while the dentist checks their teeth is enough for them.