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A lot of kids are scared of the dentist, which leads to lots of kicking and screaming when it’s time to go. In fact, some parents just don’t bother taking their children to the dentist because they’re so afraid and it just creates too much stress. This isn’t a great idea as it means your children could have all manner or oral health issues that become really bad and lead to a lot of pain and suffering.
So, how do you get your child over this fear? Well, here are a few ideas you can try out:
Take them from a very young age
No matter how old your child is, they should visit the dentist for a checkup. Even when they have no teeth, your dentist can still check to ensure the teeth are going to come through safely and that no problems are present. Plus, it establishes the relationship from a young age, so your child becomes more comfortable in that environment.
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Find a family-friendly dentist
It’s vital that you look for a dentist that clearly states they treat the whole family. I find that, when looking for a dentist near me, there are loads of options – but only a handful are family-friendly. If a dentist doesn’t treat kids, then they’re more likely to be scary and too formal. However, if your dentist does treat children and has actually studied as a pediatric dentist, then they know how to act. They’ll make your child feel more comfortable and do things that ease their nerves. As such, there’s less fear because the environment is more friendly.
Kids love playing games, and they love using their imagination. So, you can take advantage of this by playing with them and pretending to be at the dentist. It sounds a bit silly, but you can pretend to treat them and make them feel comfortable in this kind of environment. At the very least, it just makes a child respond better to the dentist as they stop seeing them as this scary person who can hurt them. Yes, the things you do will be different from the actual dentist, but having a pretend appointment can definitely calm those initial nerves.
Look after their teeth
Ironically, one of the best ways you can calm their fear is by looking after their teeth. Make sure your kids brush twice a day, don’t eat too much sugar, and follow great oral hygiene principles. By doing this, you ensure that their teeth are in the best shape possible. So, when they visit the dentist, they just experience a brief checkup without needing to go in for any treatment. Instead of being subjected to needles and drills, they’re only in the chair for five minutes as the dentist looks around their mouth and is impressed by what they see. Your child becomes less scared with each visit as they know nothing terrible is going to happen – and it’s all down to their oral hygiene routine.
As a parent, it can be tough to encourage your children to do things they don’t want to do. So, if your kids are scared of the dentist and refuse to go, then try using these tips. You’ll help them get over their fears so they can stay healthy!