For many children, the dentist can be a scary place to visit due to the sounds that are made and the masks that are worn by the staff. Children can become afraid of any pain or discomfort they'll experience with a routine cleaning or getting cavities filled.
Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can reduce their fear and make it an enjoyable visit.
1. Introduce Your Child to the Staff
To help your child feel more comfortable with the appointment, make it a point to introduce them to the staff before their first visit. This will allow them to make conversation with the dentist, dental hygienist, and even the receptionist. This will allow them to recognize familiar faces when they return to have work done on their teeth and can cause them to feel more at ease.
2. Plan a Fun Activity After
Make it easier to help your child get through their visit by planning a fun activity after you schedule appointments. This will help your little one to have something to look forward to, whether it means a visit to the park or seeing a movie together. You'll be able to discuss how much fun you'll have with the activity and can take some of the attention off of the visit to the dentist.
3. Pack Games and Activity Books
It can be extremely difficult for children to sit in the waiting room for their appointment, which can increase their nerves. Take their mind off of the visit by packing several different games and activity books that they can enjoy utilizing until they're called in. They'll be able to color, read, and play some of their favorite games for a bit of fun. This will make it easier to keep their mind off of their fear and will give them something else to focus on once arriving at the dental office.
4. Keep It Casual
You'll be able to take some of the pressure off of going to the dentist by keeping it casual. Avoid having a serious tone when discussing the visit and act lighthearted when the child has questions. By acting as if it's not a big deal, it will help the child to take it less seriously.
5. Communicate and Familiarize
Make it a point to communicate to your child, which will help to prevent them from being in the dark and having irrational fears. Discuss what they can expect from the visit from beginning to end and who will work on their teeth while they're in the chair.
Familiarizing your child with the equipment that might be used during an appointment will also help ease tensions; tools like orthodontic wire cutters might be a little intimidating the first time your child sees them. Be honest with answering any questions that they have but avoid going into too much detail.
6. Stay By Their Side
For many children, their fears of the dentist can be eased simply by having their parent by their side. Request that you can stand in the same room as the child is getting worked on to ensure that they feel a sense of security with your presence and that you're there if they need anything.
7. Bring a Friend
Allow your child to bring one of their friends to the dentist, which can make them preoccupied and have a bit of fun with one of their closest buddies. This will also make it easier for your kid to get x-rays, sealants, or receive preventative care without feeling nervous after being familiarized with the procedure and with someone they know around.
By taking a few steps to ease your child's nerves, it can make visiting the dentist a smooth and easy process. You'll have peace of mind knowing your child is in safe hands and is getting the dental work they need. It will also allow your kid to avoid having fear with each appointment as they develop.