Parent Goal: Defeating a Child’s Fear of Dentists

Dentist in WestfieldThe innocent minds of the young are prone to fantasies. They grew up believing Santa Claus visits their home every Christmas Eve to deliver presents. They think the tooth fairy will exchange their broken tooth under the pillow for pennies. They wait for the Easter Bunny to bring gift baskets.

But their imaginations also create phobias. They’d have nightmares of monsters hiding under their beds. They’d be scared of clowns. The shadows lurking in the walls can depict scary images.

They may also be scared of dentists.

The fear of dentists can stem from past experiences or scary stories. The best thing to do is to find a dentist who can reassure your child there’s nothing to fear. Gentle Dentist in Westfield, for instance, aim to make each visit comfortable and gentle for patients of all ages.

Dentists usually incorporate the Tell-Show-Do Technique. Before using it, they will explain what it can do. If you have trouble making your child go to the dentist, try these tips at home.

Don’t Overshare Info

On your child’s first appointment, don’t overshare. Providing too much information may cause confusion and raise more questions. This will add some anxiety.

Show a positive attitude towards the appointment, but don’t reassure them too much. Your child might lose their trust in you after a painful visit.

Be Cautious with Words

Use positive phrases so the visit seems less scary. Never introduce words such as “pain”, “shot”, or “hurt”. The dental staff will present their own vocabulary, like “sugar bugs”. From years of experience, they will know how to make your child feel at ease.

Play Pretend

Before a child’s first visit, try role playing games. Your child can be the dentist and patient. Show them what they will see when they go for a visit. Make it seem more fun. This will make them feel more familiar and comfortable. But, avoid using scary instruments or making loud noises.

Avoid Bribery

Promising your children sweets after the visit will just increase anxiety. It will lead them to think it might really be painful. Treats will also cause confusion and give the wrong message. A dentist emphasizes clean teeth, so children should stay away from treats causing cavities. Instead, give them a surprise reward after. You can give them a toy, stickers, or medal for bravery.

Fear of the dentist is normal for a child. You just have to make them realize the good intentions dentists have. Let them know how important good hygiene is. Going to the dentist is something they shouldn’t be afraid of.