Children tend to get anxious especially when facing the unexpected. The fear of the unknown when visiting the dental clinic makes children feel quite uneasy. Moreover, the strange equipment and unfamiliar noises add to the overall nervousness. The following tips from a child dentist can help parents ease their kids' fears and make dental visits less worrisome.
Kids love role-playing. For example, they can imitate the role of a father, mother and so on. Why not tap into this and use play therapy as a tactic to overcome your child's dental fears? A couple of days before the day of the dental appointment have her room set up in the same way as a dental office. Play the role of a child dentist while your child acts as the patient. Explore their teeth and gums. Play therapy will not only captivate your child but also prepare them unconsciously by inculcating good attitudes for a dental visit before long.
2. Choose your words carefully
Words such as shot, pain, hurt or even doctor shouldn't be part of your vocabulary when talking to your child about the forthcoming dental visit. Leave it to the dentist to introduce his or her unique expressions to help your child go through the appointment. Alternatively, tell your kid that the dental practitioner is searching for sugar bugs to clean them off their white teeth. You can also tell your child that you are taking her somewhere to tally their teeth or check their smile. Using expressions like 'clean, healthy teeth' makes the dental appointment seem fun as opposed to scary.
3. Visit the dental office in advance
The new environment plus unfamiliar faces add to the child's overall fear when they visit a dental office. When scheduling a dental appointment with a pediatric dentist, request if you can pass by in advance for purposes of familiarising the child with the new environment as well as the staff at the dental office. Consequently, your child will at least be comfortable with the surroundings before they relax in the dental chair.
4. Carry along a comfort item
Probably your child loves his toys or dolls so much. You can carry any such familiar items to help them relax. Your child may relax holding their teddy bear doll as the dentist carries out their dental exam. Ask your child what makes them feel at ease, and allow them to carry it along for additional comfort.
You want to start taking your child for routine dental visits at an early age. Soon, they will get used to the environment and the child dentist, all of which lower future anxiety.
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