"It's time to go to the dentist," are seven words no adult or child wants to hear. While these are not words most people like to hear they are words you need to hear if you care about your smile. Sadly, many children are terrified by even the thought of going to the dentist. Many officials have often encouraged the use of sedation dentistry even amongst small kids to help them deal with the nerves associated with visiting the dentist which has led to a widespread debate on if children should be allowed to take in such drug. Despite the debate one thing remains in order to keep healthy teeth your children must go to the dentist here are just a few ways you can help calm your toddler when it's time to go to the dentist:
Speak Positive Words
When it comes to going to the dentist it is terrifying for both children and adults. In order to eliminate anxiety before going to the dentist it is important that you let your child know that the visit will be an exciting one versus telling them they should be afraid.
Embrace Brushing Teeth at Home
It is recommended that you begin brushing your child's teeth once they start growing in. This not only encourages overall healthy teeth but it also helps children get used to having something on their teeth so that they are not paralyzed by fear when their first trip to the dentist arrives.
Start with a Pediatric Dentist
Pediatric dentists specialize in only children's teeth which may be the best bet for your little one as they get used to visiting the dentist. Not only is a pediatric dentist an expert in pediatric tooth care but he is also an expert in making sure your child does not have a full blown melt down while getting take care of.
Kids love playing pretend and using it as a tactic in overcoming fear will make playing pretend so much better. Set up a play date a few days before your child visits the dentist and have his or her room set up like a dentist office. Pretend to be the dentist and let them be the patient as you explore their teeth and gums. Your child is sure to love this game and most of all you are prepping them for their visit in a few days.
Don't Bribe Your Child
When taking your child to the dentist the last thing you want to do is bribe your child with things such as candy or other sweet treats. Bribing your child with sweets would be counterintuitive to what the dentist does for the teeth. It is best to simply calm your child's nerves. If you must bribe your child bribe them with stickers and or other fun activities.
Avoid Words that Promote Fear
Using the words "pain", "shot" or even "doctor" can be frightening for small children so try not to let your child know that they are going to see a doctor. Instead, share with them that they are going to see someone who cares about how strong their teeth and gums are. Using less fearful words could also help with decreasing anxiety.
What tips do you parents have for your children to help them deal with anxiety at the dentist?