Many kids fear the dentist, and that’s something parents know, but there are a few things you can do to address that fear. You know how important dental health is, so consider the following tricks to make your next dentist trip easier.
1. An Initial Meeting
Okay, so you’ve typed in “find a dentist near me” in your search engine, and you’ve found the right place for you and your child. Now, you have to worry about getting your kid to go to this appointment without making a fuss about it.
One trick you can use is to simply have your child meet the dentist. Call the office you are considering and make an appointment. Tell them that you are trying to help your child get used to coming in for visits. The dentist and office staff will do their best to make a good impression and to be more than just a scary place, which should calm your child’s nerves.
2. Focus on the Tour
See if the dentist can give your child a tour of the office. Have him or her explore not only the office but where the magic happens and the kinds of tools that might be used. Encourage your child to ask questions, and allow your kid to absorb all of the information provided. Ask about what was learned to see if your child’s attitude is changing.
All of this might not seem necessary, but if you do this, it may help your child feel less scared. A lot of the fear your child is feeling is based on pure imagination. Having your kid learn more about the dentist and the procedure he or she will be going through should make things better.
3. Watch Yourself
You might not think what you say or do has anything to do with the fear your child might have towards a dentist, but it might. If you mention things like pain, hurt, or other similar negative words, your child is going to get scared about going to see an oral specialist.
Furthermore, it may be a good idea to make sure your tone is calm whenever you talk about the dentist. Some parents don’t realize they are scared to go to the dentist themselves, so when they talk about it, their tone changes. A child is going to pick up on this underlying fear and will internalize it. You want to check yourself, your feelings, and check your words to keep these fears away.
4. Empowering Simulation
The next thing you may want to consider is planning an at-home dental visit. Of course, this won’t be a real visit. You’ll be pretending to go to the dentist with your child. The point here is to get your child used to the idea of going to the dentist.
You want to make sure you keep things simple and don’t mention things that might scare your child. Simulation is a powerful tool that helps make new experiences not so overwhelming. You can make it seem like going to the dentist is nothing more than counting teeth or looking for “sugar bugs.” You can talk to your dentist to find out if he or she has some additional tips to help you create a simulation at home.
5. Lavender May Help
Lavender can come in handy for visits. The natural scent of lavender is pretty calming, so if you make a lotion or a spritz with lavender it, this might make your child feel a little more at peace.
Hopefully, you won’t have to use this to calm your child down, but it’s good to have to help soothe the nerves. Make sure you use natural lavender oil rather than something with an artificial odor so that your child reaps the benefits of this scent. There are other calming scents out there, like vanilla, so just choose a scent you are happy with that you don’t mind using.
These are just some things that could make visiting the dentist less scary for your child. Talk to your dentist to see if there’s anything else you might be missing. This professional has worked with children and will know a few helpful tips.