Kids aren’t born with a fear of the dentist, however as they get older they start to try every trick in the book to escape or avoid a visit to the dental clinic. This can create a lot of problems for parents as they are left to handle a very tricky situation! When confronted with scared, crying kids, it’s no wonder that parents find it difficult to convince them to go to their appointment.
So, what’s the solution? Should parents even consider not taking their kids for regular dental check-ups etc.? Well, of course there is no easy solution, however choosing not to go is really not the answer. It is the parents responsibility to take their children to the dentist to ensure they have healthy teeth and to equip them with the knowledge of how to upkeep excellent oral hygiene habits.
Why Kids Fear The Dentist
It’s important for parents to firstly understand the root causes of the fears their children may feel about the dentist before even attempting to solve the problem.
There are many reasons why kids feel scared when visiting a dental clinic, some of which include:
Family History – Children may have grown up hearing unpleasant stories or experiences related to dentists and someone in the family, including parents, may have unintentionally shared too much negativity about the dentist.
Past Experience – Some kids may have had a bad experience in the past with the dentist and they may associate the pain and discomfort as a repulsion against dentists.
The Unknown – Fears may arise due to the strange-looking environment at the clinic with unfamiliar tools and objects all around and some stranger in a white uniform poking unusual instruments in their mouths.
Tips To Help Kids Overcome Their Fears Of The Dentist
Don’t worry however, as all is not lost for parents when their kids show a fear of the dentist. You can still help your children overcome their fears by following these tips:
The easiest way to prevent kids from developing fears of the dentist is to start young. Parents should take the kids to dentists from an early age, say from the time they turn 1, or from the day their first tooth appears. This develops a good habit together with helping detect problems at an early stage.
Always say positive things about dentists
This advice is something almost every parent should pay heed to. You’re really not supposed to inflict your opinions and fears onto your kids, particularly bad ones about the dentist. Rather, you should always feed them good things or positive things about the dentists, and this will serve you good in the long run for sure.
Visit a paediatric dentist only
It would be a huge mistake if you took your kid to a dental clinic which does not have a child friendly policy. Paediatric dentists are specialised in treating dental problems in kids. The best part is that they understand kids and their whims better than anyone else, and children are much more likely to feel relaxed in their company.
Choose a child-friendly clinic
There are clinics out there that are only for kids. Such places are perfect for kids, right from colour to theme, they take care of every aspect to help children feel good to be there. Toys, teddies and colourful posters on the walls, and chocolates as well, can all be expected at such clinics.
Always accompany your child at the clinic
Some parents make the mistake of leaving their kids all alone at the clinic hoping the dentist will make them feel comfortable. But what about the kid? This could freak them out for sure, because in such an unfamiliar environment they may panic and then will unlikely want to return to the dentist ever again.
These are just some of the tips parents can adopt and learn to help their kids overcome the fear of dentists.
Do you have any tips to share?
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