Written By Jennifer Raskin / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Not that many adults look forward to going to the dentist. As you may have guessed, children are even less enthused about it. However, for some kids, they become absolutely terrified of visiting the dentist. It’s called dentophobia and may arise if they’ve had negative dental experiences in the past or from what they’ve heard from their parents, siblings or friends.
You can’t avoid a trip to the dentist forever, so how can you make your child calm down to get the dental maintenance they need? It starts with figuring out what’s causing your child to be fearful of the dentist.
What Causes Fear of the Dentist in Children?
Sometimes, the fear stems from obvious dental issues. Dental deformities or tooth decay can be embarrassing to your child. If this is the reason your child is afraid, you can help reassure them that the dentist can fix this problem and give them a reason to show off their smile.
Other children are scared about needles and injections, especially if they must have a dental procedure that requires anesthesia. They may be afraid of having no control of the pain. Most pediatric dentists know how to reassure younger patients and help make sure they’re comfortable. Additionally, you can tell your child you’ll be right there with them.
What You Can Do to Keep Your Child Calm Before Visiting the Dentist
No matter where the fear and anxiety is coming from when it comes to your child’s feelings about going to the dentist, there are things you can do to help. A great idea is to let your child bring one of their favorite comforting toys. A treasured stuffed animal is always a great idea.
Turning to technology can also help with distractions. You can put on soothing music and let them practice mindful breathing or relaxation techniques. If you do this in the weeks leading up to the dental visit, the songs you play may even help automatically trigger your child into a relaxed state.
Devices can also be used to play games to unwind before the procedure begins. And nothing helps more than having you around to comfort them. When children see their parents are there the whole time, it can really help them stay calm. This is true from that first dental checkup to any more serious care needs.
And finally, don’t forget to reward your child with something special for taking the steps to face their fears. Decide on the reward together before the dental visit and remind them when they start to feel anxious about how nice it will be to get that ice cream or play mini-golf afterward.
By showing your children that there’s less to fear than they think at the dentist, they will be less afraid with each visit. Maybe they won’t look forward to it, but you won’t have to drag them kicking and screaming!
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Jennifer Raskin is a freelance writer, wife and mom that loves cold weather despite her location in Florida, cooking, reading, watching ‘80s movies, weight-lifting, and wine tasting.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.