How to help your child overcome fear of the dentist

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My name is Joshua. I've spent many years looking after my health. Once upon a time, back in university, I wasn't too keen on fitness or eating healthily and my body paid for it. I was at the doctor's office all the time. I finally got it through my head that I needed to take better care of myself. These days I take needed vitamins and supplements specific to my body's deficiencies and always try to exercise regularly. This blog is all about ways you can use both natural and traditional medicine and health routines to keep yourself looking and feeling great.


How to help your child overcome fear of the dentist

3 January 2017
Dentist, Blog

For many young children, and even some adults, going to the dentist can be a scary and anxiety-inducing experience. This is especially true for toddlers visiting the dentist for the very first time. While a child throwing a tantrum may make for a bad headache and leads to some parents holding off their first appointment until later down the line, having your child visit the family dentist early is better for them in the long term. This is because their first few dental inspections will involve checking their oral development and seeing if there are any indications that their teeth will grow crookedly or incorrectly. The sooner you catch the signs, the sooner you're able to correct them and ensure your child's teeth grow healthily. Given the importance of an early exam, here's a few ways you can quell your child's concern. 

Have a few practice runs at home 

Before taking your kid to the dentist for the first time, consider incorporating a dental visit into a game. By dressing yourself up as a dentist, you can lead them through the steps that they'll go through in a real office in a fun and playful way. Alternatively, have your child pretend to be a dentist and examine his or her toys. The more you associate the dentist with fun and games, the less scared they will be when actually visiting one. With enough practice, it'll just become routine. 

Stay calm and positive yourself

Children learn a lot from simply watching and listening to their parents. When talking about the dentist, be sure to stay away from scary words like "hurt" and "needle" and only use positive and supportive language. When appointment day arrives, stay calm and wear a smile. Your child is likely to see that there is nothing to be worried about and will try to mimic your behaviour. A professional family dentist will keep things light and simple as the check up commences. Encouraging your child with compliments about their teeth and smile as they are being examined will also help associate the dentist with positive feelings. 

Bring incentives

If your child is particularly difficult in the dentist chair, it may be a good idea to bring some of their favourite toys or picture books as a distraction. Furthermore, giving your child a sweet after the appointment is over encourages good behaviour. This is why dentists and doctors often offer lollypops after appointments. 

With a small amount of effort, you can help your child develop a positive attitude toward the family dentist. It's worth consulting your family dentist in the area for further advice if you need it.