Does your child have a fear of the dentist? They are not the only ones. Fear of the dentist is a common phobia amongst many young people.
Over half of children in the UK visited the dentist in the past year. It is believed that this relatively low figure is due to children having a phobia of visiting the dentist.
Taking your child to the dentist for a dental appointment is crucial in ensuring the healthy development of their teeth. Finding ways to help ease their fears will help turn visits to the dentist into a positive experience. Here are a few ways you can help your children overcome the fear they have about visiting the family dentist.
Bring Them To Your Appointments
Seeing their parent sit in the dentist’s chair and have their routine check-up can help with a child’s fear. Watching someone that they look up to have a regular check-up might help them feel as though they could do it too. If you have a routine check-up, your child can see what the dentist does and how they treat their patients. It can show them that there is nothing to fear about going to the dentist.
Choose A New Dentist
Fear of the dentist can be due to not knowing what to expect. It can also stem from negative experiences in the past. If your child had a negative experience with your current dentist, it is worth looking for a new practice known for going the extra mile for its younger patients.
Avoid Complicating Things
Being transparent about visiting the dentist is the best route. However, explaining processes and procedures can quickly become complicated – adding to your child’s fear of sitting in the dentist’s chair. Your child will naturally have questions about the process and what to expect. You can answer them all but aim to give brief answers whenever possible.
As a parent, you will want to reassure your child that everything will be fine and that all they will do is check their teeth. You will want to calm them by saying they will not have any procedures because of their age. Taking this calm and reassuring can help to minimise any fears your child has. The issue is that there is a chance of dental work being needed, which can cause a lack of trust your child has in you and the dentist.
Going to the dentist does not need to be a permanent fear your child has. Through support and patience, you can help to turn trips to the dentist into a positive experience from one to fear. It will help them with attending future appointments.
Last Updated on June 24, 2023 by Lucy Clarke