How to Ease Your Child’s Dental Fear
It is important to make sure that your child sees a dentist at least once a year from the time they start to develop teeth. Unfortunately, for many parents that is easier said than done – statistics show that at least 10% of all young children are afraid to go to the dentist. These fears can manifest in different ways – a child can show physical symptoms of fear such as sweating, palpitations and trembling. Most will cry and recoil and even use clever tricks to make sure that a trip to the dentist is delayed for as long as possible.
This can lead to poor teeth at a young age. It is up to you to make sure that your child’s dental appointments are kept and the best way to do that is to find out how to ease their dental fears. This article will give you a few effective tips.
- Make sure that you find a good pediatric dentist for your child. Your regular dentist may be excellent at working on adult’s teeth but he may not be trained to work on children. A pediatric dentist is trained for a couple of extra years to work on children’s and teenagers teeth. They know how to make children feel calm during dental procedures.
- Make sure that you choose a pediatric dentist who has a proper setup for children. Their offices should be brightly colored, they should have lots of toys and kids books and the employees should be child friendly.
- Start taking your child to the dentist at a young age. Children are more receptive when they are younger so the sooner they understand basic dental procedures the better.
- Communicating with your child about the dentist and dental procedures is very important if you want to eliminate their phobias. If your child shows signs of anxiety before a dental visit you should calm them down and then talk to them about who a dentist is and what he does. Talk about the importance of dental hygiene and let them know that the dentist will not hurt them, but will help make their teeth better.
- Communication from the pediatric dentist is also important. Before the dentist starts to work on your child it is important that he or she take some time to explain to both you and your child what they will be doing and why they will be doing it. Pediatric dentists are trained in the kind of vocabulary that helps children relax, so sit back and allow them to do their job.
- There are several relaxation techniques that can help your child calm down if they are worried about a visit to the dentist. You can get them to take a few deep breaths and exhale. Blowing bubbles is also very soothing for young children so bring your bubble kit along. The pediatric dentist may also have a few tips and tricks up his sleeve.
- Reward your child after a trip to the dentist but make sure to avoid sugary treats – they negate the good work that has just been done on their teeth. You can take them somewhere special, such as a theme park that they like or let them visit a friend. If, however, they show signs of stress or tiredness after a dental visit it is best to take them home and let them sleep it off.
- If you try all these things and your child’s nervousness doesn’t seem to decrease you may want to consider having their teeth, particularly their molars, sealed. A special layer over their teeth will protect them from bacteria and reduce the need for dental visits.
Lastly, talk you’re your dentist about how you can help your child overcome their fears. A specialist pediatric dentist takes the time to understand what may be causing a child’s fears and they can give you useful tips.