More often than not, children are afraid of the dentist. There's something about the environment and dental tools that make a child nervous. However, children need to go to the dentist to ensure that their teeth come in healthy. Here are some tips to make your experience at the dentist painless.
1. Go to a pediatric dentist
You have a variety of options when it comes to your dentist. Go to a dentist who works primarily with children. These offices will typically have toys and magazines directed toward children. Also, the dentist will be familiar with how to make children comfortable. They'll also be able to handle tantrums for children who are really afraid.
2. Stay with the child
If the dentist allows it, go into the room with your child during the procedure. Having you there can help relax the child. They'll also see that you trust the dentist.
3. Eliminate your own fears
Children mimic our behaviors. If you happen to have a fear of the dentist, your children might see this and display the same behavior. Even if you are afraid of the dentist, avoid expressing that fear in front of your children. Stop other people who demonstrate a fear of the dentist in front of your child, too. They won't be afraid if they don't know to be afraid.
4. Go to the dentist regularly
It's typically recommended to go to a dentist every six months. Start young and go regularly. If you go regularly, the child will start to see it as part of a routine. It will become normal instead of scary. Going regularly will also help prevent dental problems that might require scary and painful work to be done.
5. Be on the same team with the dentist
Show your child that you and the dentist are on the same side. Support what the dentist says and explain to your child that the dentist is there to help them. When they see the dentist as a person who helps with their growth, they will be more inclined to go through the appointment calmly.
Dentist visits are not always the most exciting thing, but they are necessary, especially for children. If your child is afraid of the dentist, try these tips to help make the experience more normal. Your child may never truly like the dentist, especially if they need dental work, but you can get through it (relatively) painlessly.