It is only fair that children associate dental clinics as a scary environment, especially when they associate it with tooth extraction or dental injections.
However, it should not always be the case. Dental care is vital to one’s overall health. Early training of your kids will allow you to escape all the drama whenever the dental appointment comes.
Here are five effective ways to eliminate your child’s fear of dentists and dental clinics!
1. Get your child accustomed to the concept of a visit to the dentist early on
According to the Australian Dental Association, you do not have to wait until the child has a full set of teeth before you visit the dentist. After all, dental care is not just about the teeth, but also the gums, lips, and everything else inside the mouth. The ADA recommends that parents bring their children to dentists as soon as they get their first tooth, or as early as 12 months old.
Early visits are necessary so the dentist can track the development of your child’s teeth, monitor any issues, and help prevent dental problems from occurring. Once it becomes a routine, your child will get used to the yearly visits.
2. Talk about the process positively
Most of the time, children get scared of the idea of visiting dentists because of stories they hear from adults’ bad experiences. They learned that services offered by dentists could hurt them.
Instead of saying the statement “it will not hurt”, which implies that it can cause pain, make the message more positive. Say phrases like “it is going to be an exciting experience” or “they will tickle your teeth” to help make them feel better.
Orient your kid why you need to make this part of your routine. Telling them the reason will make them better understand the need to undergo the process. Explain how important their oral health is and how it is connected to their overall health. Tell them why they need to keep an eye on their mouth and why it should be part of their wellness routine. Sometimes, learning about the consequences of not doing one thing is convincing enough to make them want to do it.
3. Train them early
Let them start young with their oral health care. Give your child a toothbrush and a kid-safe toothpaste and let them clean their teeth even if they cannot effectively do it yet. Teach them how to make the proper motions of brushing and how to spit.
Do not forget to congratulate them after attempting to clean their teeth. Tell them that their dentist will be proud of them. It will make them feel more confident and prepared for their appointment.
4. Let them see how it is done
Whenever you or any from the family will visit your dentist for dental checkups, let them tag along. However, make sure that the person who will undergo the dental process will not scream or scare your kid even more.
Make sure also to choose the type of service that they will see during that visit. An easy checkup or cleaning is a more friendly view than an actual tooth extraction.
Familiarising themselves with the clinic – how it looks, who the staff is and what to expect – will help them prepare and feel at ease for their actual appointment.
5. Play ‘dentist’ with your child
Doing some role-playing will make your child feel more comfortable with a visit to the dentist. Pretending to be a dentist and a patient will help the child know what they should expect from an actual visit. Let them play the dentist role too, so they see the value in the job.
Setting a good example and exposing your child to the concept of oral health and the vital role of dentists will help make the process easier for them. Start early and focus on the positive so that they will appreciate the need to visit the dentist better.
Are you looking for a family dental care provider in Doncaster, VIC?
Shoppingtown Dental is a clinic with a team that provides high-quality yet affordable dentistry in a friendly, professional and caring environment. Allow us to take care of your family’s oral health.
Call us on (03) 9848 2399 to book an appointment today.