Being fearful of the dentist is nothing new. In fact, just the word dentist may send chills down some people’s backs.
Around 11 percent of children don’t like to visit the dentist and about 12% said they were afraid, according to a study published in the European Journal of Dentistry.
But how do you combat your child’s fears of the dentist? Here are some tips to ease your child’s fears:
Find a dentist who is good with kids: Yes, this may seem too obviously, but when it comes to dental fears the first person to help is an understanding dentists. Find someone through recommendations or look for a pediatric dentist.
Explain the importance of oral health, often: Talk with your child about how important is to brush and floss your teeth. The more you talk about it, the more they understand.
Set up a meet and greet: Before your child’s first appointment have him or her meat your dentist. Get them acclimated to the office and staff.
Make regular dental visits: Make sure you take your child for a cleaning every six months. The more they go to the dentist the less is unknown.
Explain in understandable terms: Let your child know what to expect, but talk in terms that they can understand. Or you can ask the dentist to explain what your children should expect.
Lead by example: You may be fearful of the dentists yourself, but don’t share that with your children. Make sure your children understand that there’s nothing to fear.
Communicate with your dentist: Tell the dentist about your child’s anxiety. They may be able to help ease those fears.
Avoid scary words: Avoid saying words like ‘hurt’ or ‘pain’ or ‘shot’ when you talk about the dentist. Use gentle and friendly words.