Top 5 Tips to Help Kids Overcome Fear of the Dentist

Nobody likes going to the dentist, but for kids it can be especially scary. It is recommended that children see the dentist twice a year starting at the age of one, or whenever his/her first tooth arrives.  The earlier a person begins visiting a dentist the better the chances that their oral health will be in top shape and that fears of dental checkups will be non-existent.  A little bit of issues now will go a long way for the future.  In order to make these visits easier and a more positive experience for everyone, follow these tips.

  • Leave Out The Details

When telling your little one about their up coming visit, don’t tell them too many details about what will happen. This can cause anxiety and lead your child to have more questions. Just telling them something as simple as the doctor is going to check their smile and count their teeth is enough. Once at the clinic, the dentist will be trained in dealing with children and be able to soothe their worries and perform the treatment in a pain-free and fun manner.

  • Keep It Positive

Only talk about the visit in a positive way. You may dislike going to the dentist yourself, but you don’t want any anxiety to rub off on your child. It is also important not to create an unrealistic expectations though. Telling your child that the experience will be fun or exciting will lead them to be disappointed and possibly upset when the visit actually comes.   Most dentists do offer their patients a lollipop or something completely counterintuitive at the end of a visit.

  • Try A Pretend Visit

At home try playing dentist with your child.  They can be the patient and then the dentist and all you need is a toothbrush. When you pretend to be the dentist just count their teeth and avoid making any drilling sounds. This will help your child get more comfortable with what happens at a visit.

  • Be prepared for Some Fussing

As much as you try to keep the experience positive, chances are your child will start to fuss or get upset. It is a new and different experience that is slightly uncomfortable for anyone. Your child may also not like a stranger examining them, or the idea of having someone look in their mouth. It is important for you to stay calm and know that the doctors and staff know how to work with children.

  • Explain the Importance of Good Dental Hygiene

Explaining to your child that going to the dentist is needed will help them understand the visit is not optional. This no nonsense attitude will set your child up to practice good oral hygiene for life.

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