It is rare to find a child that isn't afraid of a childrens dentist.
If your child is anxious about going to an appointment, there is a few things you can do to calm them down.
1. Get Them Started Early
If you haven't taken your child to a dental practitioner yet, you may not know how to act.
Fortunately for you, the younger they start, the faster they get used to the bi-annual visits!
Experts such as Dr. Rhea Haugseth recommend you start their dentist visits from as early as when they're one-year-old.
2. Don't Give Them the Details
Kids cannot conceive so many things happening at the same time at the childrens dentist.
They have a limited outlook on the world. Kids also create stories in their heads about what will happen. In addition, the stories aren't usually pretty.
Children fear the unknown even more than adults, so it's better to keep them blissfully ignorant. Talk positively about the trip to the dentist, but don't go into details.
Make up funny stories about how the dentist is looking for sugar fairies in their mouth. Be creative.
3. Play Pretend Dentist
People are more comfortable doing things they are used to. To get your children used to being in a dentist's office, "practice" beforehand by playing pretend.
If they don't want to be the patient, give them their favorite toy and a toothbrush to play with. If not, get a hold of a mirror and a toothbrush. It's time to play!
Using the toothbrush, count your child's teeth. The mirror should be used so the children can imagine how they will look like in the dentist's chair.
This exercise will help them get used to the whole process. Who knows, kids might end up enjoying their visits to the pediatric dentist.
4. Never Bribe Your Child
Bribery might work if your child is stubborn in doing his or her chores. However in the case of dentistry, it might give them the idea it is not a pleasant experience.
Besides, it sets bad precedents for your kid. They feel like they can extort you for a visit to the dentist's office. Next, it will be for doing their chores, or other important activities.
Instead, suggest how good they will feel with clean teeth and a bright smile, like in the commercials. If you have clean, healthy teeth yourself, show them the after-effects!
5. Just Listen to the Dentist's Advice
If nothing else works, just know that you are not alone. Not everyone can prepare their children for a dental appointment.
But the good news is that a childrens dentist has dealt with more kids than you can imagine. They are better prepared than anyone to deal with stubborn or frightened children.
They probably have their own quips to tell kids that will keep them calm. It is possible they will resort to bribery themselves if all else fails.
But why not find out for yourself? Try the above techniques to ready your children for the journey. Then call us and we can set up an appointment!