Ideas for Conquering your Child’s Fear of the Dentist

dis_newsdetailTaking kids to the dentist is necessary to keep their teeth healthy and promote excellent oral hygiene habits. It can also be an arduous task to get them to go peacefully. Knowing how crucial it is to instill great oral care habits into your children, Here are some ideas to help them get used to visiting the dentist regularly without the fear and torment (for both you and them):
Emphasize the Importance of Going
Teach your child that visiting the dentist is necessary for his health, not a choice, and that the dentist makes sure that his teeth are strong for him to eat. You might also explain that the dentist helps keep cavities at bay and ensures that his patients will have a beautiful smile for years to come.
Read Books About the Dentist
There are lots of children’s books written about going to the dentist. They’re great at outlining what happens at the dentists’ office and shows kids that going to the dentist is not a big deal. Some good ones to start with include Show Me Your Smile!: A Visit to the Dentist (Dora the Explorer) by Christine Ricci, Just Going to the Dentist by Mercer Mayer, Behold! No Cavities!: A Visit to the Dentist (SpongeBob Squarepants) by Nickelodeon, and Tooth Trouble by Jane Clarke.
Watch Your Words
“Don’t use the ‘S’ (shot),’H’ (hurt) or ‘P’ (pain) words with children. Let the staff talk to children to help them get through difficult situations and use words that help put them at ease.
Role Play
Playing “dentist office” with your kids helps them become familiar with what happens in the real dentist’s office and they can prepare themselves for the visit. Set up a pretend dentist’s chair in the dining room or living room, and pretend to be the dentist. Check your child’s teeth, talk about X-rays, and pretend to look inside your child’s mouth and count teeth. Thank your child for the “visit” and give him or her a sticker.
Follow these tips for happier and healthier dentist appointments, and if you’re still having trouble, talk to your dentist about the best way to put your and your child’s mind at ease.