Do you notice your child showing disinterest or crowing back at the mention of visiting the dentist’s office? It is very natural for children to be nervous or afraid of visiting the dentist. They may refuse to cooperate during dental consultations, especially if your child suffers from dental anxiety.
Dental anxiety or fear could vastly impair and prevent your child from receiving oral health services at a young age which could ultimately affect his/her dental health. It’s a true fact that visiting the dentist could be equally stressful for your child and yourself. As a parent, if you are under the impression that dental anxiety is something that your ward may outgrow in the future, think again. Early childhood dental fear has known and reported to later on affect most adults into skipping dental appointments and consultations as their childhood dental anxieties were not addressed.
Why are kids afraid of going to the dentist anyway?
Theoretically speaking, most kids are afraid or uncomfortable visiting the dentist because they do not know what to expect and presume that the dentist would eventually hurt them. They may have heard children screaming from the consultation room while waiting alongside for your dental appointment thereby instilling the natural fear of having to cope with a situation when they are the patient. In order to battle this fear in your child, create a feeling of safety and peace about meeting the dentist. It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that their child doesn’t feel insecure and miserable during their time with the dentist.
Tips To Make The Journey Easier For Your Child
As parents, there are several ways by which you can make your child feel comfortable and less anxious during their visit to the dentist. Read below to gather a few useful tips that can lessen your child’s fear of going to the dentist:
1. Ensure that your child visits a dental practice whose dentist and staff is well recognized for treating patients with friendliness and cooperation. It is vital to avoid dental offices that may not offer the same.
2. Make your child feel that dentistry is fun. As parents, if you exhibit a feeling of uneasiness and disgust at the thought of having to visit the dentist, then the message automatically reaches your child’s conscious. This affects your child’s outlook towards visiting the dentist’s office.
3. Offer them a positive walk-through of any one of your own dental appointments. Letting your child watch and observe how the dentist treats you during an appointment or cleaning session gives them a prior chance to know how it looks like inside the procedure room. It doesn’t harm to engage in a funny conversation with the dentist at that point to make the experience a cheerful one in front of your child.
4. Encourage role-playing can also give your child an understanding of visiting the dentist normalizing the actual experience in advance to the appointment.
5. Ensure to stay calm in case your child begins to become anxious or scared. Maintaining a calm face will ease down your child’s fear. It would be amazing to notice how your presence alone would instill a sense of confidence in your child.
The above tips are a few of the many ways by which you can help your child make their dental appointment an easy and less anxious one. Dr. Saeb has several years of experience in a wide variety of dental procedures and is known to offer her patients a friendly and warm environment during their dental visits.