Our practice provides a friendly, comfortable environment to help keep all of our patients as calm as possible. However, it can be a scary experience for young children to visit the dentist. Children worry about being separated from their patients and being alone with a dentist that they might not have met before. They also fear certain procedures such as injections and drilling. This is why it is important that your child attends regular dentist appointments from a young age so that they get used to the sounds and smells that make up the dental environment. Here are our tips and tricks to help your child move past their anxieties:
Good Role Models
Children are very perceptive and will listen to what you say about your experience of dental treatments. Make sure that you talk positively about your dentist to ensure that your child feels safe. You could try bringing your child to one of your appointments to show them what the dentist does and try to make it a positive experience so that they look forward to their turn in the dental chair.
Also, whilst at home, make sure that you stress the importance of oral hygiene to your child. Encourage them to watch you whilst you brush and floss your teeth so that they can see a good oral hygiene routine and learn how to do it themselves.
Use Positive Words
When talking to your child about the dentist, make sure you are using positive words. Even if you feel negatively about the dentist, do not project this onto your children as they are very impressionable and may refuse to visit the dentist due to something bad that they have overheard you saying. If you are unsure of how to talk to your children about the dentist, give our team a call on 01723 670500 and they will help to provide any advice they can.
Relax and Distract
Another tip for parents would be to bring along cuddly toys, books, games etc for them to play with. These can act as a distractor and help them to link the dentist with positive things so that in the future they look forward to attending their appointments.
Help Your Dentist Form Common Ground With Your Child
Talk to your dentist about things that your child enjoys, such as hobbies or certain foods that they might appreciate. This will help your child feel more comfortable visiting the dentist as it will help to establish a friendly relationship.
Briefly explain to your child what their appointment is likely to entail. Describe the appointment in a way that makes your child excited to attend. However, do not create unrealistic scenarios. For example, telling your child that it ‘won’t be painful’ is a promise that could be easily broken and it may cause you and the dentist to lose your child’s trust.
If you require any extra information, visit the NHS website or give our team a call on 01723 670500.