How to Get Your Anxious Child to The Dentist
You took all of that time to find a dentist in your area that caters to the particular needs of children. Yet it’s still a major chore to get your child to get even a routine check-up and cleaning. Let’s face it, kids don’t really love going to the dentist for any number of reasons. But you can’t spring a visit on them under the guise of a trip to the toy store and bribing them with a reward after the fact sets a bad precedent.
Your child shouldn’t feel worried or scared about visiting a dentist richmond va, there are steps you can take to reduce their anxiety. After all, consider it from their point of view, a stranger is planning on examining their mouth with foreign objects. No matter how many times you try to assure them everything is going to be okay, that is cold comfort from where they are sitting. Studies have shown that childhood trauma associated with visiting the dentist can create a fear that lasts well into adulthood.
Children who don’t want to go to the dentist can also start to misbehave and act up when they get to the dentist chair. That makes it a stressful and unpleasant experience for everyone involved and you should do everything within your power to avoid this from happening.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to make the next trip to the dentist much easier on you, your kids, and your dentist.
The biggest mistake that parents make in getting their child to a dentist is that they bring the child to the wrong type of dental office. Assuaging your child’s worries and fears starts by placing them in an environment in which they feel comfortable and familiar.
Doing this might require bringing your child to a pediatric dentist, someone who specializes in working with children and offers the kind of friendly and inviting dental office that caters to a child’s particular fears and concerns.
A pediatric dentist is typically better equipped to address the worries of children and this can sometimes make the biggest difference in helping you reduce the potential for your child growing anxious and fearful of the dentist office when it’s time for a cleaning. This isn’t to suggest that regular dentists won’t be able to calm down a nervous child, but they don’t always have offices that make kids feel safe and secure.
Pediatric dentist offices will often have toys and décor that cater to a child’s sensibilities. The result is a calmer, less worried child who feels somewhat more comfortable than he or she might in a traditional dental office.
Many parents may know what’s coming when they tell their child they have an appointment coming up. They may try to avoid the hassle altogether by keeping the appointment a secret until the day of. This is a big mistake because the child has been thrown into a situation, they are unprepared to handle and it will only exacerbate their fears.
The alternative of giving a child fair warning may seem like an invitation for a temper tantrum, and it may very well lead to one, but it’s far worse to have that meltdown occur in the dentist’s chair than at home. In addition, you can work towards soothing the child by explaining in detail what the visit will entail and how easy it will be. They may have a lot of questions about the procedure, how long it will last, and of course, whether or not it will hurt. First and foremost, do not lie to them about what’s coming. Honesty is always the best policy.
Anything you can do to get them in the right mindset to face their fears and assure them that the visit is not the end of the world will be a lot better for making it a less stressful experience. So, sit down and discuss every last aspect of the dentist visit with your child and let them know what to expect.
The Day of The Appointment
Anything you can do to make them feel comfortable is a good idea. Let them bring their favorite toy along with them. Take the child on a tour of the office so there is nothing unknown or scary to them when they are about to sit in the chair. Have the dentist or the hygienist explain what each tool and piece of equipment does and how it works.
Once the child is seated, let the dentist take over. Don’t question their authority or decisions during the visit. That will only make the child more worried or nervous. If you have a concern or problem deal with that in private, before the dentist performs any function you aren’t sure about during the visit.