Helping Your Child Overcome Their Fear of Dentists
For a child, going to the dentist can be a frightening and overwhelming experience. The experience of sitting in the dental chair while a strange new person uses hard metal instruments to poke around their mouth can be too much for a child. While the fear is understandable, it’s important to help your children keep their teeth and gums healthy from a very young age. At Green Dental Care, we pride ourselves on creating the best experience for all of our patients. We want to ensure that future visits to your Parker CO dentist are enjoyable and stress-free. Dr. Ionescu has put together the following steps that you can take to helping your child overcome their fear of dentists.
Early Introductions to Your Dentist in Parker
The sooner a child pays a visit to the dentist, the better comfortable they will ultimately be. Our friends Dr. Kristina Neda at ThoroughDent Smiles, a pediatric dental office in Georgetown, KY, recommends that the first visit to the dentist be at the age of 1, or soon after the first teeth start to erupt. Keep it upbeat and fun, and encourage your child with plenty of positive reinforcement.
Keep it Age Appropriate and Easy to Understand
When you’re preparing your child for a visit to the dentist, try not to go into too much detail. This can lead to creating plenty of unnecessary anxiety as your child tried to understand what is going to happen. Keep up with a positive attitude and tone of voice when discussing any upcoming visits or procedures.
If your child needs treatment, keep the explanation simple and age-appropriate, reassuring your child that the doctor and staff are there to help.
Be Mindful of the Words that You Use
There are some words that should be avoided when discussing dental or doctor visits with children. Just the words alone can often lead to anxiety.
Instead, allow your child’s pediatric dentist and hygienists to use their own language when describing what they will be doing. A common description of treatment is to use the words “sugar bugs.” Simply tell your little one that the dentist is going to check their smile and look for any invisible sugar bugs so that he can clean them off.
- Focus on positive words.
- Clean teeth
- Strong teeth
- Healthy teeth
- Happy smiles
- Healthy smiles
This can help to make the visits to your Parker dentist feel fun and interesting, rather than alarming and frightening.
Children learn through playing, and playing pretend with your child can help to reassure them about what to expect from an upcoming visit to the dentist. Pretend to be the dentist and take turns with your child playing the dentist. All you will need is a toothbrush and your imagination. Count your child’s teeth and have them count and examine yours. The type of play you engage in doesn’t need to be specific or anything other than keeping it fun. The goal is to get your little one familiar with the routine of a dental office visit.
Pick up a few picture books that have lots of illustrations and an easy-to-understand dialogue to help children get an idea about what can be expected.
Prepare for a Bit of Fussing
It is very normal and very age-appropriate for young children to be fussy, cry, whine, and argue about being seen by their Parker CO dentist. Try to remain calm and collected, remembering that your children can often pick up your own anxiety. Remember, also, that your dentist in Parker CO has worked with many children. Each member of the team will know how to handle the fussing best that your children may demonstrate.
It’s your job to be the cool-headed and calm parent, while the dental professionals handle the business of keeping their teeth healthy.
Focus on the Importance of a Healthy Mouth
Teaching your children that dental visits are necessary and not optional will help them to understand that the dentist will help them to take care of their teeth. You may want to explain that the dentist can help to keep teeth free from cavities and help to ensure a beautiful smile for many great years to come.
Start your children with the best oral health care and make an appointment for an examination with the best dentist in Parker. You’ll find our entire team kind, compassionate, and really understanding when it comes to working with our littlest patients. We offer a wide range of dental services that will meet each of your oral healthcare goals.