It’s perfectly normal for children to be nervous about going to the dentist. They may be scared being around new people, if they’ll go through any unfamiliar dental procedures, or simply from negative experiences at past dental offices that don’t cater towards children.
Whatever the reason may be, there are plenty of ways you can foster a positive attitude towards the dentist. It’s best to take these steps to prevent anxiety or fear from turning into a serious dental phobia.
Bring Their Favorite Toy
Perhaps they have a favorite toy or blanket at home that always seems to calm them down. Bringing it into the office for their appointment will give them a sense of comfort and familiarity. It might also help distract them from thinking about dental treatments or instruments in their mouth.
Positive Reinforcement at Home
If your child has a severe fear of the dentist, starting to talk more positively about the dentist while at home can foster a positive attitude about going. Read storybooks about children going to the dentist to show them it can be a fun, beneficial experience.
Reinforce them positively when they brush their teeth, floss, or engage in healthy dental care by telling them their dentist will be so pleased about it. You can also consider rewarding them for positive dental habits to reinforce dental hygiene even more.
Let Them Talk it Out
Have an open conversation with your child before going to their appointment can make them feel much better. Explain to them what to expect, why they shouldn’t be nervous, and that you’ll be there with them the whole time. Allow them to talk openly about their feelings and concerns and listen to what they may be thinking and feeling. Talking about it ahead of time and while at the appointment can make them feel much better.
Comfort Them in the Right Way
It’s perfectly natural to want to comfort your child as much as possible and let them know everything will be alright, but make sure you use the right wording. It’s best to stay clear of saying things such as “Don’t worry, it won’t hurt” or “Everything will be okay”. Saying those phrases will most likely get them to fixate on the idea that something will hurt or that there is a reason for something not to be okay.
You know your child best, so learn how they are best comforted. Simply steer away from using negative words that they could fixate on.
Contact Us Today
The best thing you can do if your child is afraid of visiting the dentist is to bring them to a dental office that specializes specifically in pediatric dentistry. At Rio, our dentists have plenty of experience working with children, and know not only how to handle pediatric dental issues especially, but also how to make children feel as comfortable as possible. We also offer nitrous oxide and other sedation dentistry options.
Our offices are different than the rest because we have private movie theatres, video games, free toy prizes, and more. For superior pediatric dentistry in Irving, Farmers Branch, or Fort Worth, contact us today!