It’s very common for children to be afraid of the dentist. No matter if they’ve been there before or not, it’s still easy for kids to correlate the dentist’s office with scary tools, loud noises and pain.
However, there are some things that you can do to help lower your child’s stress levels when going to the dentist.
Meet and greet
First impressions are everything, and that’s also true of the dentist office. If your child has an unpleasant first visit, subsequent visits are destined to be more stressful.
To help avoid this, schedule an appointment at your preferred dentist office to meet the staff, have a tour and an explanation as to what usually goes on during a visit. As long as you visit a professional, courteous and kind office, their first impressions of the dentist will be good, which will allow them to relax more when they come in for a real visit.
Go to a pediatric dentist
To make a more comfortable environment for your children, choose a pediatric dentist, suggest the professionals at Westmount Dental Centre. They’re specially trained to make welcoming and even fun environments for children.
Not only are the staff specially trained, but the offices are commonly decorated in bright and appealing ways with many toys for children to enjoy while waiting. This helps lessen the initial stress, and it also helps the child correlate dentist visits with something enjoyable and pleasant in the future.
Many dentist offices have music playing or televisions set up to allow people to have something to entertain them during their visit. These are good distractions, but if that’s not enough, ask your dentist if it’s okay for your child to use headphones and an MP3 player or smartphone to listen to music or podcasts that they enjoy.
Be there for them
Most dentists allow parents to be in the room while they perform the cleaning. It’s comforting for a child to have someone they love and trust near them during a stressful event, so it’s a good idea to sit by them, talk to them and even hold their hand during their visit.
Have a consistent hygienist
Having a regular hygienist for every visit can be great for helping a child relax during each visit. They become comfortable with the familiarity, and this gives them the opportunity to build a good rapport with their hygienist.
It’s also important to listen to your children if they note a particular hygienist that they like or don’t like. If they don’t like their initial hygienist, don’t be afraid to switch. Knowing that they’ll be having a visit with a hygienist they dislike can be even worse than dealing with a stranger.
You may never convince your child that going to the dentist is particularly fun. No matter how hard you try, there are going to be unpleasant things to deal with there.
However, you can help prevent harmful anxiety and fear of the dentist no matter how young or old the child is by following these tips.
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