As a parent, there are likely going to be a lot of things that you have to help your child through. From monsters under the bed to being scared to fly, it’s your job to reassure your child that they’re safe and nothing’s going to hurt them. However, there are some things that your child might be scared of for legitimate reasons, like the dentist. But in order for your child to be healthy, it’s vital that he or she visits the dentist on a regular basis. So to help ensure that these visits don’t ruin your child’s day, here are three tips for helping your child get over a fear of the dentist.
Be Positive But Don’t Over-Promise Anything
If you can start your child going to the dentist from a very young age, you’ll have a much better chance of instilling some good interactions between your child and his or her dentist. You can really set the tone for your child not being afraid and for the dentist to be someone the like. But if you’re already past this point, you’re going to have some more work ahead of you. However, your attitude toward the dentists still matters.
Because of this, you should try to always be positive when speaking to your child about going to the dentist. But while you’re being positive, Dina Roth Port, a contributor to Parents.com, warns not to over-promise anything. You shouldn't be telling your child that it won’t hurt a bit if that’s not something you can actually promise. While saying something like this might get your child into the dental chair, it could set your progress of overcoming this fear back a few steps.
Hold Some Practice Sessions
To help your child be ready for whatever’s going to happen at the dentist office, Julie Revelant, a contributor to Fox News, recommends that you try to hold some practice sessions at home before the day of your child’s appointment. Have your child lean back in a chair while you do an examination of his or her teeth. By doing this, you’ll help your child gain a better understanding of what it might actually be like during their real appointment.
Ask Your Dentist To Help
If you can’t get your child on board with going to the dentist on your own, you might want to contact your dentist to see what he or she can do to help. Things like sedation and sleep dentistry can be helpful in many situations. Also, visiting a pediatric dentist may help your child feel more comfortable in a kid-friendly environment. But if you reach out to your dentist and don’t get any help or support, Michael Friedman, a contributor to WebMD.com, shares that you just might want to find a new dentist for your child to see.
To help your child overcome his or her fears of the dentist, consider using some of the tips mentioned above.