How Can I Help my Child Get Over their Fear of the Dentist?
Being afraid of the dentist, the doctor, and other medical professionals is a fairly common issue for children. They often associate visiting these experts with pain. Doctors give them shots, and the dentist puts them through cleanings and other exams that might be a little uncomfortable and are certainly strange and unusual (to a child, at least). If you’re a parent who has a child who is deathly afraid of visiting the family dentist, there are a few things you can do to alleviate that fear.
Talk to Them
The first step is to sit down with your child and talk to them about their fears. Ask them what it is about the dentist that’s so scary. Many kids are likely to say that they’re afraid of the pain or what the dentist is going to do to them. Tell them some stories about your own experiences with the dentist and about your own fears or concerns. Let them know that being afraid of the dentist is normal, but that there’s really nothing to be scared of. Explain what the dentist does and why it’s so important to see them.
Let Them Know that Questions are Okay
Encourage your child to ask the dentist questions. This makes them a part of the process and a willing partner in the exam. If they feel like they’re more involved instead of someone who is having strange things done to them, they’re less likely to be afraid. Asking questions and giving permission rather than simply being told what to do empowers children, alleviating fear. Many dentists understand this and will be extra gentle with kids, especially first-time patients.
Work with the Dentist
A family dentist has had years of experiences working with children. They’ve created a whole routine to help young patients get through their exams as easily as possible, so let them take the lead. You may be surprised just how quickly your child takes to the dentist.
If you’re in need of a family dentist for your little one, James R. Anderson, DDS, is here to help you. With years of experience with child patients, Dr. Anderson will help put your young one at ease while completing the exam. Contact our office today to make an appointment.