How to Help Your Child Overcome Their Fear of the Dentist’s Office

dental fearChildren are known for being incredibly stubborn over some issues, and the dentist’s office is one of the most dreaded places for someone with a smile that’s still developing. It’s not that hard to understand – after all, most adults dislike visiting the dentist as well. Still, when a child becomes frightened or anxious about their regular check-ups, it can make it very difficult for them to sit still long enough to receive the crucial care they need to maintain their teeth. Here are some helpful tips for helping your loved one learn to feel comfortable at the dentist’s office:

Take Them Sooner Rather Than Later

Children are often frightened by unfamiliar places, sounds, or people; avoid this problem by taking them with to your own dental appointment when they’re around one year old. This, coupled with very gentle, quick check-ups for them too once they’re old enough, will help them become accustomed to their surroundings gradually instead of being forced to take it all in at once. Once they’re ready to start attending regular check-ups, they should feel comfortable enough to avoid any tearful scenes in the waiting room.

Try To Avoid Scary Words

Even if your little one does develop dental problems early on, do your best to avoid potentially scary words such as “pain” or “shot.” In fact, do your best to avoid discussing their dental care with a negative tone. Your dentist and their staff will be sure to talk to them in a reassuring way about the work they’ll do.

Don’t Try and Relate To Their Fear

As we’ve already said, many adults also feel fear when it comes to dental visits. However, please don’t share those thoughts with your child or tell them any horror stories from previous visits you’ve had. While this may seem like a good idea to lower yourself to their level, it will only prove to your son or daughter that there is something to be scared of and make them worry unnecessarily.

Do Your Best to Avoid Bribery

Promising your child a special treat if they make it through their appointment often sends the wrong message about what is truly important to your little one; plus, it could make them feel even more anxious and pressured. Instead, focus on how important good oral hygiene is and help them practice at home. Teach them that strong, healthy teeth are their own reward!