What Should You Do if Your Child Is Scared of the Dentist?

Do you know how to talk to your kids about a visit to the dentist?

Between needle phobia and a general dislike for the visit to the dentist, there could be difficulties whether it’s your first trip or your third or fourth visit.

If you have a child who lacks confidence in going to the dentist, it can be hard to deal with a negative reaction.

You need to know how to talk to your kid about being scared of the dentist and how to help them understand the dentist. Let’s look at the best way to do both of those things. Read on!

Be Supportive and Understanding

If your child is scared of the dentist, the most effective approach you can take is to be supportive and understanding. Do not force them to go. Instead, ecnourage positive visits by talking about the positive aspects, such as how the dentist can help them maintain a healthy mouth.

Explain the process reassuringly and calmly. Touch on the subject of how to maintain dental hygiene and perhaps talk about any cleaners or treatments that might be needed.

It may also be helpful to try and make the visit more fun. Get your child involved in the preparation process and help them practice their brushing techniques, so they can perform these methods accurately by the time their dental visit arrives.

Make sure to let them know that the dentist isn’t there to hurt them and that the staff is friendly and wants to help them keep their teeth in tip-top shape. 

Allow Them to Pick Their “Distraction”

Discuss the possibility of using behavior management techniques, like breathing exercises or positive visualizations, during dental visits. This will help to make your child more comfortable and reduce their dental anxiety.

Let them choose which “distraction” they would like to bring with them to the appointment, like a comforting toy or book. Try distracting them with games, stories, or music in the waiting room. 

Talk about it as a special event, rather than as a scary experience. Find out what your child’s fear is and you both can address it. For example, if fear of the drill is an issue, you can try desensitizing them by talking to or showing them videos of other children having a successful visit.

Choose a Kid-Friendly Dentist

If your child is scared of the dentist, it’s important to find a dentist who is both kid-friendly and understanding of their specific needs. Look for a provider who has a gentle yet effective approach to providing dental care.

Also, look for one that allows children to sit in the dental chair with their parents during the exam. This helps create a more comfortable environment. It is also important to those that offers additional amenities, such as music and video entertainment, that can help distract your child during procedures.

Taking the time to look for a local kids dentist is essential for instilling a positive outlook on dental care for your child.

Help Them Overcome Being Scared of the Dentist

Overall, it is normal for children to have fear of the dentist. Parents should remain calm and understanding to help reduce fear.

An effective way to make the process easier for your child is to give them coping strategies. Offer your child comfort and support so they know you will be there to help them through it.

Taking these steps can help your child be much less scared of the dentist and make their next visit much less stressful. 

If you think this article is helpful, check out our other blogs!

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