Your child's dental office visits are important to their dental health both now and in the future. However, if your child is terrified about going to the dentist, every visit can be a challenge. Here are some ways to ease your child's fears so that they are more comfortable with the dentist.
Roleplaying can be a valuable tool to help children express their feelings, and when you role play a dentist visit, you can have a better understanding of what is causing your child to be afraid. Your child can play the role of the dentist, and a stuffed animal can act as the patient. You can also play the patient, if you'd like. Ask your child to show you what happens at the dentist, and be aware of the words your child uses. Are they afraid of the dental tools? Is there anxiety about laying down in a chair? Roleplaying will help you answer those questions, so that you can help your child with them.
As you roleplay with your child, you can take the opportunity to correct any misconception that your child has about the dentist. For instance, they may be afraid of all the dental tools and think they will hurt. You can assure them that they won't be in much pain. However, don't make up things. If you say that something won't hurt and it does, your child will have a harder time believing what you say.
Many times, children can sense how their parents feel about a situation. If you are a nervous wreck, your child will start to wonder why and start to feel nervous as well. Do your best to smile and remain upbeat so that your child can model that behavior.
Try to watch your words when you talk about the dentist. Use positive words and phrases when you talk about going there and what will happen. You might talk about the dentist checking their smile and counting their teeth. Try to avoid talking about cavities and pain unless that is an issue that you know to exist.
Sometimes, if you can simply distract your child, they won't be so focused on their fear. Bringing along a favorite picture book can keep your child occupied as they sit in the waiting room. Some dentists allow CDs or DVDs in their examining rooms so that your child can focus on their favorite show or songs instead of their dental examination.
Now that you have some ideas about making your child more comfortable at the dentist, be sure to use the tips above. Ask a pediatric dentist, such as Apollo Dental Center, for even more ways to make your child as comfortable as possible when they go to dental appointments.Share