Preventing and alleviating the fear associated with dental visits is important in encouraging future overall oral health. Adults who are not afraid to go to the dentist are more likely to keep up with regular visits and be proactive in the care of their teeth. Parents can play a vital role by working with the pediatric dentist to ensure a pleasant experience for your child. Here are some steps parents can take to reduce dental fear in children:
Tell your child about the visits but limit the number of details given. Answer any questions with simple answers. Let the dentist answer more complex questions. Pediatric dentists are trained to describe things to children in a nonthreatening way and in easytounderstand language.
The first visit to the pediatric dentist should be relaxed. Starting a dental home early, by age 1, usually ensures that the first visit can be more of a “meet and greet.”
Avoid using negative words when talking about the dental visit. Avoid saying things like “drill”, “pain”, “hurt” or “shot.”
Studies have shown that a parent’s own fears of the dentist are transferred to their child. Don’t tell your child about an unpleasant dental experience that you’ve had.
Go to the library or bookstore and pick out books about going to the dentist.
Make going to the dentist fun. You can plan a fun day that centers around the dental visit.
Stay positive and explain to your child how important it is to maintain healthy teeth and gums and that Dr. Michelle will help them to do this.