It’s not unusual for children to feel nervous and afraid of going to the dentist, especially during the first visit.
Helpful Ideas to Help Your Children Overcome Fears
As a parent, it’s good to know there are things you can do to make your child’s dental visit more enjoyable and help them feel less afraid of going to the dentist. Here are a few ideas suggested by everydayhealth.com and colgate.com:
- Explain and answer questions. Give your child an idea of what a dental visit is, what the dentist will do and why the visit is important for healthy teeth. Answer your child’s questions and be positive and encouraging about the visit.
- Tell the dentist about your child’s fears of dentists. If your child is nervous, sometimes dentists would like to know that ahead of time. They can use humor, be sure to be calm and take extra time explain things or just talk to the child to help make the child feel more comfortable. Some dental offices have play areas where a child can play with toys before the visit.
- Choose a dentist who is good with children. Some dentists and dental offices have happier, calmer and more reassuring demeanors than others. A welcoming dentist office atmosphere can make a big difference.
- Take a trial run. First time experiences are often hard for people at any age and particularly for children. Find out whether you can visit ahead to show your child the dental office before the actual appointment. Looking around, seeing the waiting area, the receptionist and a dental room can help the surroundings feel familiar when returning for the check-up.
- Make multiple appointments at the same time. If you can schedule an appointment for your older child just before the younger child’s appointment, your younger child might accept his or her appointment more easily. Younger children like to do what their big brothers or sisters do.
- Stay with your child. Go into the dental room and stay with your child during the checkup. This works well for younger children in particular.
We’re a Child Friendly Dental Office
Dr. Baker is kind, gentle and good with children. He has children and grandchildren himself and is empathetic to the problems parents may encounter when taking children for their first dental visits.