Have you noticed an uncanny anxiety or fear overcome your child when visiting the dentist? Do the unfamiliar noises and the new faces frighten them into fits or uncooperative behavior? From your child’s perspective, the dentist can be an intimidating experience, but there are ways to prepare them prior to visiting and while they’re in the dental chair to calm they’re nerves. Dr. Wright and his professional, gentle dental team in Southlake, Tx understand dental anxiety and fear, and they would like to offer the tips below to assist with your child’s journey.
To help your children accept and understand that the dentist is not a scary place take them early and often. Your child may visit the dentist a number of times, even in the double digits, in order to facilitate good oral health. Making the trip to the dentist an adventure or a story sometimes helps the child digest the experience without realizing they’re a part of it themselves.
Equate the dental visit to the child’s favorite book, television show, or heroic journey. Make them the hero and the bacteria in their mouth the villain. Pretend the dentist is their ally in defending their mouth from all the bad guys. Quite a few children enjoy this approach because they will be encouraged to do things themselves, building a sense of individuality and responsibility.
In most cases, refrain from using specific hot words that may communicate pain or discomfort. Words like “shot,” “hurt,” or “pain” can cause inherent anxiety if the child equates the words with past experiences like a bruised or cut knee, a broken arm, or other unfortunate events. You want to promote the dentist as a positive experience.
Last but not least, if you have a performer amongst your family, stage a pretend visit before actually going to the dentist. Set up the couch or the lazy-boy chair as the dental chair and a side-chair as if you would be the dentist. Use the child’s toothbrush as a dental instrument and talk about the bacteria you may or may not see in their mouth. Instruct them a the pretend dentist that you may need to refer them to an expert.
Your Child’s Dental Health
Place a high priority on your child’s oral health. They grow, lose, and may chip teeth while they figure out life for themselves, and frequent visits to the dentist during this process can help keep their mouth healthy and functioning properly. Establishing dental visits early increase the chance that they’ll continue the habit later in life.
ABOUT YOUR SOUTHLAKE DENTISTS:
As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.