If your child is terrified of the dentist, they’re not the only one.
Most kids won’t be excited to visit the dentist, especially if it’s their first time going. The unknown can be scary for anyone, but note that children are more capable of imagining frightening scenarios than adults.
Thankfully, your child has you to rely on. To help you plan a successful trip to the dentist’s office, we’ve created this guide on how you can help your child prepare for the dentist, no matter how afraid they are of going.
Before the Visit
One of the biggest sources of fear for children when it comes to visiting the dentist is not knowing what to expect. When your child thinks about the dentist, they often think of large needles, drills, and an overall unpleasant experience. It comes as no surprise then that they may be a little anxious about their dentist appointment.
The best way you can help remedy this is by taking the time to explain everything that will happen and why you’re going to the dentist. Start the conversation a few days before their appointment to make room for any questions they might have. Being honest in answering their questions can help remove the uncertainty factor of dentist’s visits, making it easier for them to conquer their fears.
If possible, try searching for a kids’ dentist to ensure that you’re working with a professional who is an expert with children. Someone who has been treating kids for years will surely have the right skill set to make your child’s appointment as fun and unscary as possible.
During the Visit
After taking your time to prepare your kids for their dentist appointment, most of their fear should be gone by the day of their visit. However, this doesn’t mean they won’t still be a little anxious.
On the actual day of the dentist appointment, the best thing you can do is be there for your child, reassuring them that everything’s okay.
Talk them through their procedure and frequently remind them that you’re there and that you won’t let anything happen to them. If you’re calm, your child will follow your lead and feel calmer, too.
You can also pack some of your child’s favorite things. Allowing them to do fun activities like coloring or reading books will keep them occupied instead of spending all their waiting time totally anxious about what’s going to happen. You can also prepare their favorite plushie or blanket to hold during their appointment.
If your dentist won’t allow you to accompany your child all the way to the dental chair due to COVID protocols, see if they would allow you to sit in virtually. This will allow your child to still feel comforted by you while creating a safe place for your dental team and the other patients.
After the Visit
Your child did an amazing job getting through their dentist appointment, so make sure to tell them. A routine dentist visit is something they’ll have to do repeatedly during their entire life, so you want to foster a healthy relationship with the dentist early on.
The best way to do this is through positive reinforcement. Let your child know they did a good job and that you think they’re brave for conquering their fear. Then, you can talk about the experience over your child’s favorite treat, allowing them to associate a positive and healthy memory with the dentist.
Make Dentist Visits Fun with Dentistry at Consilium
At the end of the day, the most foolproof way to a positive experience during your child’s dentist appointment is to find the right dentist for them. Here at Dentistry at Consilium, we pride ourselves on offering exemplary dental services for patients of all ages. Whether it’s their first or thirtieth appointment, we want to make sure each of our patients feels comfortable and at ease in our office.
We’ve been providing high-quality dental care to families in the Scarborough, ON area for several years, and we’re proud to have promoted a healthy smile for generations of clients.
Dental health starts young, so contact us today to learn more about how we can plan a safe and fun dental visit for your kids. You may call us at (416) 296-1080 or book an appointment through our website.
Note that during COVID, we have adopted a virtual waiting room that allows us to keep all of our patients safe. After a pre-screening to assess you and your child’s temperature, you will be allowed into the office where we regularly sanitize to help prevent the spread of germs.