Anxiety with kids is common when it is time to make a trip to the dentist. Where some kids are just terrified, it may cause them to resist cooperation and others may just scream at the sight of a dentist. Especially a stranger sticking tools in their mouth, many children experience anxiety when it comes to meeting new people. Today, we at Smile Reef would like to offer some tips to help kids better approach going to the dentist.
How to Prepare a Scared Child to Go to the Dentist
1) For your child, create positive reinforcement. Give your child some positive reinforcement after their appointment if your child isn’t a fan of their dental appointments. With their trips to the dentist, help your child associate a positive reward. After their appointment, consider taking them to the playground or reward them with a movie. These rewards won’t be necessary as your child grows older and realizes that the dentist isn’t so bad.
2) Beforehand, let the child meet the dentist. To allow your child time to build a relationship with their dentist, arrange a meeting between your child and his or her dentist before the appointment. An introductory meeting will help ease some anxiety before the appointment, as many children have anxiety when meeting a new person, especially an unknown doctor.
3) Around your child, choose positive, less daunting words. You can strongly affect the way their perceives a situation by the words you use. Your child is likely to feel scared of his or her dentist appointments if choose words like “pain”, “drill”, “shot”, or similarly intimidating words. Tell your child that the dentist is simply counting your child’s teeth, not examining them. The sugar is cleaned off their teeth by your child’s dentist. So they can understand that this will be a positive, fun, pain-free experience, choose positive words that your child can relate to.
4) Explain the importance of dentist visits. Regardless of their age, possibly the most effective way to ease someone’s anxieties or fears is through education. With positive reinforcement, explain why they need to visit their dentist. With a full mouth of adult teeth, show them pictures of what a brilliant, healthy smile looks like. If they don’t visit their dentist or brush their teeth regularly, help your child understand the consequences.
When they arrive at their appointment, preparing your child before his or her visit to the dentist can make all the difference in how they feel. When describing the dentist and dental appointments, choose positive, calming words. Using a toothbrush to count each tooth, consider a mock appointment in your own home. Be patient and understanding since it is completely normal that your child has some apprehension and worry about their dentist appointment. When it comes to pediatric dentistry services in the Greater Las Vegas Valley, call in the experts of Smile Reef and let us help your child with dentist visits. Our professionals have experience working with children with all reservations and can hep you child become relaxed.