3 Things To Try When Your Child Is Afraid Of The Dentist

Posted on: 26 July 2017

Whether they had a bad experience with a painful dentist office visit, have had cavities in the past, or simply picked up a fear of the dentist from friends or family members, a child's fear of the dentist shouldn't be overlooked. By helping your child face and overcome their fear of the dentist, you will help eliminate their anxiety while also ensuring they get regular dentist checkups. Here are three things to try when your child is afraid of the dentist:

Choose a New Family or Pediatric Dentist

Sometimes helping your child overcome their fear is as simple as choosing a new dentist with significant experience working with children. Some dentists may be experts at their craft, but simply lack a warm and friendly bedside manner that makes children feel safe. Read reviews for dentists in your area, ask friends with kids who they go to, and check out any prospective dentists via their website or even take an introductory office tour or visit.

Choose a dentist who will take the time to explain things to your child and focus on making their appointment a positive and fun experience, instead of something scary.

Watch Your Own Attitude

It's not uncommon for parents' own fear of the dentist to be passed down to their kids. Make a point to be very mindful of how you talk about the dentist, with a focus on the positive. Telling your kids you like to go to the dentist because it helps your teeth stay clean and healthy is much better than mentioning that going to the dentist hurts or that it's an annoyance.

Build Positive Associations

Creating new positive associations for your child to think of when they think of the dentist is important because doing so can override negative impressions. Talk about how good it will feel to have the dentist clean the yucky bacteria from their teeth. Plan something fun for after their dentist visits, such as an outing to a children's museum or the park. Choose a kid-friendly dentist, and then let your child know they will get to play with toys, watch cartoons, or enjoy whatever other child-friendly features your new family dentist offers during check-ups.

By following these tips and being proactive in how you help your child navigate their fear of the dentist, you will make your child feel much better and help them have positive experiences at the dentist office. Contact a dentist like Tony Parsley, DMD for additional information.