For both children and adults, one of the most common fears is visiting the dentist. For kids, the sound of drilling and the masks worn by the dentists can all be terrifying and cause panic with each trip. Most parents have to drag their children to the dentist which causes so much stress. The only way is to make the visit less stressful for your child.
Here are a few ways to help your child overcome his fear:
Introduce Your Child to the Dentist
Allow your child to become acquainted with the dentist ahead of time to ensure that he feels comfortable with the adult. They can meet each other for several in the waiting room before the child receives his cleaning or treatment. You can even stop by the dental office on a different day so they recognize the familiar face once it’s time for their appointment.
Bring Books and Games
Helping your child to stay occupied at the dentist will ease their nerves and keep them busy. Pack their favorite books, toys, or video games to allow them to have a bit of fun in the waiting room. You can even suggest that they bring their favorite stuffed animal with them once in the office. The child may also want to bring their friend or a sibling along for a visit who can comfort or support.
Explain the Benefits of the Dentist
For children who are old enough to understand, it’s important to explain the benefits of visiting the dentist so they can comprehend the value of receiving dental care. Discuss that the dentist is there to help preserve their teeth and help them to look beautiful. Help them to appreciate their teeth to ensure that they find the importance of scheduling regular cleanings.
Plan a Fun Activity Afterward
An easy way to make the trip to the dentist less scary is by planning a fun activity afterward that the child can look forward to. Consider taking a trip to their favorite toy store, visiting the park, or going swimming for plans that will keep their mind off of the dentist and offer a bit of distraction. If you make the day all about the fun plans that are established, it will make the dentist appointment less of a big deal.