No one likes to go to the dentist, but most adults understand that it’s necessary. The problem comes in for parents of young children. How do you relieve their fear of the dentist without misleading them?
1. Don’t Say Too Much
When preparing your child for visiting the dentist, it’s important not to divulge too much information. Describing too much can lead to questions about procedures, and that can make the child more fearful. Conversely, saying that the visit will be comfortable or okay may also be problematic. If your child does need a procedure performed, this may destroy his or her trust in you.
2. Choose Your Words Carefully
Additionally, be cautious in the vocabulary you use to describe the visit. While words like “pain” or “shot” may come to mind, it’s best not to use them. Instead, just mention that the dentist is going to count your child’s teeth. You might want to contact your dentist in Salt Lake City Utah to get some more specific pointers since different dentists have unique methods for dealing with frightened children.
3. Let the Dental Assistants Handle Your Child
Once you get your child into the office, it’s time to let the trained professionals handle things. They expect young children to misbehave, either giggling or getting fussy. The dentist and his assistants likely have a tested method for earning the trust of their younger patients, so it’s probably better to let them handle it.
4. Avoid Offering Incentives
Of course, every parent wants their child to behave, but attempting to bribe him or her could backfire. First, offering a sweet treat reinforced bad eating habits that can lead to more cavities. More importantly, offering a bribe in this way suggests that there’s something to fear. This suggestion can make your child more apprehensive.
5. Teach Good Oral Hygiene
By teaching your child to properly care for his teeth and gums at a young age, you can instill good habits. Better oral care and regular dental exams and cleanings can reduce the likelihood of cavities developing, which lead to less enjoyable dentist visits.
In taking a young child to the dentist, the best way to prepare him or her is by doing what you can to reduce fear. The experience will already be intimidating, so it’s important to try not to add to those misgivings. Working together with your child’s dentist, you can make this a more positive experience, teaching your child about the importance of dental health without instilling fear.
Tags: Brushing Teeth, Dentist Visits, Incentives, Teeth