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Tips for Helping Your Child Overcome Their Fear of the Dentist

little boy being brave with a dentist

As an adult, going to the dentist is a routine you perform to maintain your oral health. However, the same isn’t true for most kids. If you’ve ever noticed how children often make a fuss when entering a dental clinic, you should know that they behave out of fear.

Fear of the dentist is common among younger kids. It is often caused when adults discuss their dental procedures in front of children that may come across as a traumatic experience.

Luckily there are a few tips for helping your child overcome their fear of the dentist that you can use to create a sense of peace and safety when visiting the dentist.

Bring your child in early

We suggest bringing your child to see the dentist as soon as they get their first teeth.  It’s extremely unlikely we may be able to do much except having a chat with the parents but this often gives a chance to make sure parents are on the right track for providing the best care for their child’s dental health.

And as they get older, usually a yearly check will be more than sufficient.  It may involve a quick look, some discussion on what the different instruments are, and a look at their teeth whilst lying them back in the chair.  This complemented with a balloon/sticker/toothbrush often provides a positive experience for your child and makes any future visits significantly more comfortable for them.

kid smiling with dentists

Be a Role Model

Bring your child along with you for your next dental appointment and show them how it can be a pleasurable experience. Smile and talk to your child about the procedure. By doing so, your child will have an idea of what the dentist is supposed to do and how harmless a dental appointment can be.

This information can help curb your child’s existing perception of dentists and make you a good role model. 

Role Play with your Child

Role-playing what transpires during a dental check-up is a great way to show your child that there’s nothing to fear. It is also an effective way to turn a fearful situation into a fun-filled experience for your child. 

Positive Reinforcements that Comfort and Distract

Some kids may not appreciate the long-term rewards of dental appointments. Use positive rewards like stickers and small toys after they visit the dentist to reinforce their growing positivity towards dental check-ups.

Since dental procedures often mean being away from their parents for a little while a toy or stuffed animal can provide a familiar comfort and distraction that is necessary to make dentist appointments fun and engaging.

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