It is common for children to have anxiety about visiting their dentist. It's completely understandable too, as they sit in the waiting room and hear drills and other strange sounds going on in the background that scare them. If you need to ease the anxiety your child has, try following some simple tips.
Use Role Play Prior To Their Visit
The reason they could be so nervous is because they fear the unknown. They are starting to learn about their world, and the concept of a dentist is new and scary to them. Use role play to help demonstrate to your child what they can expect from their dentist visit, and it will help them feel more confident when the time comes to have their teeth inspected.
When using role play, switch roles so that your child can see what it's like to be a patient and the dentist. It will also show them that you are not afraid of the dentist, and willing to play the role of the patient.
Schedule A Consultation With Their Dentist
Since fear can come from what they don't know, the best way to overcome it is to visit the dentist prior to their first visit. Check with their dentist to see if they will let you have a simple consultation with your child. It will give them a chance to familiarize themselves with the dentist office, see the dental chair, and ask the dentist questions about their visit. They may even be able to see another child having a dentist visit without any issues!
While this technique is best used for first dental appointments, you can also use it when you change dentists since it will be a new environment for them.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Desire can be more powerful than fear for children. Desire is what encourages them to learn, and what helps them step outside their own comfort zone. If you use positive reinforcement to help them discover proper oral hygiene, it can help them become less fearful of the experience of visiting the dentist.
Always keep the focus on the positive outcomes of the dental visit. You can offer them a reward if the dentist does not find a cavity, which would also encourage them to brush regularly and thoroughly. Their anxiety may change to anticipation, as they wait to find out if their mouth is cavity free.
If you need more tips for relieving your child's anxiety, speak with your pediatric dentist for more information. Talk to experts like Advanced Dental Professionals for more information.Share