Being afraid of the dentist is a common fear for children to have. It's the subject of children's books and even a plot in popular animated programs for kids. If your child has an intense fear of the dentist, you likely feel powerless to help comfort them. Here are three tips to help when your child is afraid of the dentist.
1. Discuss their fear with them.
Some parents think that kids will forget their fear if you don't talk about it. However, it is much better to discuss their fear of the dentist with them. Doing so can help you figure out why they are so afraid. Once you know the reason for their fear of going to the dentist, you can find ways to help them.
If you don't know why they are afraid of the dentist, you will be powerless to stop the fear from taking over on the next dentist visit. And, left unchecked, your child's fear of the dentist can become so bad that you are unable to take them for the check-ups and preventative services they need for good oral health.
2. Tell them what will happen on their visit to the dentist.
Many kids find great comfort when they know what to expect out of a situation. For instance, if your child has never been to the dentist before, it is only natural they would be afraid - because they have no clue what the dentist is going to do.
Whether it's your child's first dental visit or not, you need to tell them what they can expect during the appointment. If they will be sedated for a procedure, let them know. Don't just tell them that the dentist is going to pull a tooth or fill a cavity - explain to them, as best as you can, what the dentist is going to do so they won't be afraid of the unknown.
3. Assure them you will be with them during the entire appointment.
Sometimes, just knowing that Mom or Dad is going to be right by their side during the appointment can greatly reduce a child's fear of going to the dentist. Unless there is major oral surgery being done, there is no valid reason why you can't stay in the exam room with your child if they want you to. If you're looking for a dentist in your area, visit Family Dentist Gardner Dental Group.