A visit to the dentist can help promote great oral hygiene and keep your child’s teeth healthy. However, going to the dentist can be scary for your child when he/she imagines a room full of strange objects, needles, and various instruments dentists use. Getting your child to visit the dentist can be difficult for you as a parent. However, here are some four fantastic tips on how to help your kids feel more comfortable during dental visits.

Start Early

Experts recommend taking your child to the dentist when the first tooth is visible. The earlier your child starts to see the dentist, the less fear or anxiety he or she will have on subsequent visits. An early visit also makes your child feel at ease with the environment and the staff. When preparing a first-time visit, try not to include a lot of details on what to expect. Let the child learn about his surroundings and adjust accordingly. Talk to the dentist about sedation dentistry and if it’s something you can consider for your child.

Stress on the Importance of Good Oral Hygiene

As a parent, emphasize the importance of observing good oral hygiene. Let your child know that going to the dentist is one of the ways to ensure that our teeth are healthy. Also, reiterate that the work of the dentist is to make the child’s smile beautiful and strengthen their teeth. Train your child on the importance of brushing their teeth early and with time, this will turn into a habit and will help them overcome the fear of going to a dentist.

Choose Your Words Carefully

Sometimes as parents, you may increase your child’s anxiety by using the wrong words. Avoid saying things like pain, hurt, or shot to the child. You can instead tell your child that the dentist wants to count their teeth and smile. Words like healthy and strong teeth will make the visit sound fun rather than alarming. We have to go to the dentist should be replaced with we get to go to the dentist to spark some enthusiasm.

Be with Your Child during the Visitation

Most kids fear being separated from their parent or caretaker and this is the reason they are afraid of going to a dentist. Talk to the dentist to ensure that it’s okay to stay with your child during the visit. You can also bring a toy that your child loves to keep him or her settled during the routine checkup.

These four tips will help your child learn how to overcome their fear of the dentist. Start early and be positive about the whole process. With time, your child will relax and look forward to these dental visits.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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