When you’re confronted with whizzing and whirring noises, a strange person putting metal instruments in your mouth and a waiting room full of people looking anxious, it’s hard not to be nervous, so it’s completely understandable for children to be scared of the dentist. However, there are lots of different ways of making going to the dentist much less scary for children and here are some ideas:
Take children to the dentist at an early age
The earlier you take children to the dentist, the sooner they become used to the sights and sounds of the dental surgery, and the lower the risk of children suffering from dental anxiety when they get older. Ideally, it’s advisable to take children for regular check-ups from 12 months old. Frequent check-ups enable children to get used to the treatment room and the dental chair and also to get to know their dentist.
Choose a dentist with experience in treating children
Seeing a dentist with experience in treating children, such as Freshdental, is beneficial because the dentist will go out of their way to make the child feel comfortable and they will be aware of what kinds of techniques are effective to help children relax. They can also adapt their approach to suit a younger patient.
Set a good example
Children learn most things from the people closest to them, so even if you’re terrified of going to the dentist, don’t let on. Stay as calm as possible and talk about going to the dentist as if it were a routine action, such as popping to the shop or going for a coffee.
Use children’s books
There are lots of really good books out there that teach children about the importance of going to the dentist and give them an idea of what will happen when they have a check-up at the dental surgery. You can buy educational books, as well as those that feature popular television and film characters and these help to make children feel more relaxed and comfortable when the time comes around to visit the surgery.
The dental surgery can be a very interesting and intriguing place for inquisitive minds and lots of children have questions about what dentists do, how they work and why people have to see a dentist. Do your best to answer their questions and if you don’t know the answer, encourage your child to ask their dentist.
Keep up to date with check-ups
If you stick to regular check-ups, the risk of dental problems is lower and this means that children are less likely to need treatments such as fillings or extractions. Check-ups are pain-free and quick and therefore a lot less daunting than more invasive treatments. Good oral health habits will also help to reduce the risk of children suffering from tooth pain. With regular check-ups, children also become accustomed to going to the dentist on a regular basis and it becomes part of a routine, rather than an appointment that seems to pop up out of nowhere, which can be rather scary.