If your child is afraid of the dentist, they’re not alone. In fact, a majority of adults have a fear of the dentist –- as many as 75% — according to the Dental Fears Research clinic at the University of Washington. This anxiety is primarily caused by a bad experience of his or her own during childhood. But such fears are unfounded, and helping to make your child comfortable during their visit is the best way to ensure a positive experience for everyone. What are some of the ways you can help?
- Don’t Teach them to be Scared: One thing you have to realize is that fear of the dentist isn’t passed with mother’s milk. It’s an acquired fear. Ironically enough, parents are often the ones most responsible for teaching this fear to their unsuspecting offprings. Remember, kids don’t know they’re supposed to be scared. The first visit to a dentist is the same to them as going to a circus or a science museum. There are flashing lights, toys and masked people all around.
- Read a Book: A trip to your local library will provide a number of titles that will help your child understand how the dentist helps keep their teeth healthy and clean.
- Role Play: Help your child develop a positive attitude toward the dentist while having fun at the same time. Plan a make-believe trip to the dentist in your own living room. Keep it light and explain to them what their visit will be like. Whether it’s a routine cleaning, x-ray, or even a filling, knowing what to expect in advance will make the real trip much easier.
- Distract Them: Bring along a favorite toy or game for your child to play with. Keeping them occupied helps to keep their mind in a happy place.
- Positive Reinforcement: If your child has a positive experience at the dentist office, reward their good behavior with a trip to the zoo or another favorite spot. Next time they will look forward to going to the dentist!
Regular check ups and cleanings are key to a healthy mouth. With scheduled visits for proactive dental care, more serious problems and issues can be avoided altogether, and the dentist’s office might never need to be scary again.
source: “Scared No More: 5 Tips to Help Kids Overcome Fear of Dentists” patientconnect365.com. Patient Connect, 2015. Web. March 17th, 2017.
For more articles on dental health, see our main blog page.
We Look Forward To Welcoming You And Your Child…
You will find our office to be a pleasant and caring environment. We know a positive experience can set the tone for your child’s future dental health. That is why our office has been designed to be “kid friendly”. Even more importantly, our pediatric dentists and professional staff have dedicated their careers to helping children. We establish trust with your child by creating a safe and happy place for them to be. The latest in dental technology is combined with genuine compassion and concern.
We are open Monday through Saturday and offer appointments as early as 7:30am
The first checkup is recommended at the first birthday. Our patients generally stay with us until they graduate high school. We are proud to say we are now seeing the children of former patients, as the practice was established in 1973 by Dr. Robert Harmon.
We have 24 hour coverage for our patient’s dental emergencies. There is a pediatric dentist on call at all times. Should you need after hours advice or emergency care, simply dial our telephone number and our message will direct you.
Are we accepting new patients? Yes, absolutely! We are happy to welcome new patients to our practice and we appreciate your referring your friends and family to us.