Most kids experience a fear of the dentist at some point. If your child is expressing a fear, making the visit seem familiar through games can be a great way to help them build the confidence to go without a fight or tantrum. Help your child conquer their fear of the dentist by creating an interactive experience for them.
Sit in on A Dentist Visit
Having your child sit in on a dentist visit shows them that everyone has to go as opposed to just them. This can work with an older sibling or parent. Your child becomes familiar with the experience by watching and this can help them feel more comfortable. There’s nothing to be afraid of when they can see what the dentist does with you or sibling. They get the non-confrontational experience before having to actually go through it themselves.
Having toys pretend to go to the dentist is a great way to turn the experience into a game. Dentist Barbie is one of the few dentist toys on the market which makes the game a little more realistic. Either way, it allows you to recreate the experience to the best of your ability in a neutral environment. Your child will know the gist of what to expect before ever having to set foot in a dentist’s office. This is especially useful for those who have extreme fears as they may be too nervous to even go in for an office visit with a loved one. It can also be reassuring to kids just experiencing some minor nerves who may just need to know the general process. Play is one of the best ways for kids to learn and build confidence.
All kids love to watch videos. Some of their favorite cartoons may have episodes about going to the dentist that could be a simple introduction. There are also many outlets putting out educational videos aimed at children. A kid-centered video about going to the dentist will show the basic idea of an appointment. It will answer the who, what, where, when, why, and how. Kids have a million questions and a good video will answer all of their major questions.
Going to the dentist doesn’t have to be scary if your child knows what to expect. Be honest with them and give them the information so the experience seems more relaxing. An informed child is often more confident going into their dentist appointment so help arm your kids with knowledge surrounding the upcoming experience.