Any parent will agree that taking their child to the dentist can be a challenge to say the least. Children can sometimes develop a fear of the dentist, making it difficult for parents to organise a check-up for them. For the parents with an anxious child, take a look at these five techniques to calm your child before their trip to the dentist.
Don’t Bribe Your Child
Avoid offering them treats if they behave well at the dentist. This can trigger unnecessary anxiety and make them question what is so awful about the dentist that they might deserve a treat. As well as this, it defeats the whole object of promoting healthy eating and taking care of your teeth. Sweets mean cavities, and giving children sugar after visiting the dentist only contradicts everything the dentist stands for. Instead of bribery, praise them for their great behaviour only after leaving the surgery.
Praise the Dentist
Remind them that the dentist has their best interest at heart and they are here to take care of people’s teeth. Turn the dentist into a hero so your child doesn’t look at him as someone to be afraid of. Talk about him in a positive and upbeat manner.
Keep To One Dentist
When you search for a family dentist, take your time and find one that you feel you can trust and rely on, and stick with them. If you continuously change dentists, your child will associate a dental check-up with a stranger. It is important that they are familiar with the person who is standing over them with metal tools in their hands. If your child is familiar with the dentist, they will become more comfortable with going for regular check-ups. Keeping to one dentist and knowing that the surgery will be filled with recognisable faces will reduce any anxiety that your child might have.
Be Careful With Your Words
Avoid saying phrases such as ‘don’t worry’ or ‘it won’t hurt’. Totally remove words like ‘injection’, ‘pain’, ‘examination’ from your vocabulary altogether. This will only scare your child more. Use only positive words when talking about check-ups.
Keep the Explanation Simple
Your child might ask you questions about the visit and when they do, keep your answers simple and to the point. Don’t go into too much detail and don’t lie to them. If they do have any complex questions that you are unable to answer, ask the dentist to explain. In doing this, your child and the dentist builds up a relationship and the dentist can also answer the question better than you could.
About the Author
Do you have a young child that you would like to bring in for a consultation or to sign up for NHS Dentistry? Please call us at Epsom Dental on 01372 720650 and book your child in for an appointment with one of our highly trained and experienced dental practitioners. We pride ourselves on being delicate and gentle with all our clients, especially small children.