It’s normal for a child to experience fear when it is their first visit to the dentist. Although some of their fears are caused by traumatic experiences, some are just plain fear of the unknown. As a parent, we can make going to the dentist fun for them. This can help ease the fear that they are having, and it can also make it a fun experience for them. Who knows what will happen if you get children interested in attending the dentist at a young age? Maybe they’ll start begging their parents to take them to the dentist once a year.
In this article, we will introduce you to some of the fun ways you can do to make your child excited to go to their dentist and ease their dental anxiety. Remember, these tips aren’t a quick fix, and you should try to do them regularly so your child will remember them positively.
Why is your child afraid of the dentist?
Dental anxiety is normal for children, but sometimes, severe trauma can make it unbearable for them. Past bad experiences at the dentist’s office commonly cause dental anxiety. Imagine being a child and your parents paid an inexperienced or bad pediatric dentist resulting in painful procedures. Will you still like to go to the dentist? Of course not!
In addition, studies have found that factors such as age and gender also play a role in dental anxiety. Studies show that girls and younger kids are more prone to dental anxiety and exhibit behaviors like being shy or crying when brought to the dentist.
If you are looking for pediatric dentist in Herndon, VA that can give your child a comfortable dental experience, look no further than Junior Smiles of Stafford. They have a welcoming and kid-friendly clinic environment, as well as experience and techniques to make dental visits less intimidating for children!
How can you make your child’s dental trips more enjoyable?
Now that we discussed dental anxiety and trauma, how can we make it fun for them? How can we ease their fear and make dentist trips enjoyable and calming for them? In this part of this article, we will talk about different fun ways and tips to make dentist trips fun for your little one.
Start them young
Scheduling dental checkups for your child will be a breeze if you follow this piece of advice. Bringing them to the dentist at such an early age benefits both the child and the dentist since it allows the dentist to check the condition of the tooth or teeth and helps the child become accustomed to dental visits. While taking young patients to the dentist for the first time, reassuring them of your devotion and care is critical. Remember that the responsibility for following this advice is entirely on your shoulders. You can only expect your child to cooperate if they see that you’re prepared to do the same and show up for their appointments consistently.
Play “dentists” at home and watch dental shows for kids
Your child’s development usually starts with playing games or watching TV shows. Try playing dentist genre games with them to make it seem more fun for the kids. You can let your child check your teeth like a real dentist or watch a few TV shows beautifully describing and educating your kids about dentists. Who knows, maybe one day your child will become a dentist too!
Make the trip to the dentist something they look forward to doing
If you want your kid to be enthusiastic when they go to the dentist, you should start making them thrilled on the way there in the car. Have a positive attitude and entertain them with music they’ll enjoy. Schedule the appointment during a time of day when you won’t have to worry about missing it due to traffic. Youngsters are highly perceptive and may internalize the anxiety and tension of adults around them.
Don’t forget the rewards
Children, like the rest of us, respond well to rewards. If you need to bribe your kids into going to the dentist with things like toys or ice cream, do it. Parents won’t judge but do it responsibly, remember, there’s a limit to everything.
Give them control
As parents, we often fail to consider how terrifying it must be for a child to be subject to the capriciousness of strangers. Remembering this is crucial before visiting the dentist. The dentist’s office is a great place for kids to practice making their own decisions because they have so many options available to them. While getting their teeth cleaned, they will likely be able to select the show or movie that plays in the background and the kind of toothpaste used. No matter how long it takes your youngster to decide, you shouldn’t choose between available alternatives. Hand over responsibility to them.
Like most people, children are prone to fear, especially when it is their first time. As a parent, we have been tasked with making them feel better and calm around dentists. These fun activities mentioned above can help ease your child’s dental anxiety and can help them get over their fear of dentists. Try them up and see for yourselves. But, if your child still exhibits odd behavior towards the dentist even after doing a few fun activities or talking to pediatric dentists, try to take a more advanced move by taking them to an expert regarding children’s behavior. Overall, you should also start leading by example to show them that going to the dentist is a normal part of life and no dentist could ever harm them.