Children dread the idea of going to the dentist. When you were a child yourself, you probably also felt the same fear that children typically go through every time someone mentions a dental visit. After all, who wouldn’t be afraid? The image of a dentist shoving drills, scalpels, miniature hooks, forceps, and other harsh-looking instruments in one’s mouth is even enough to scare some full-grown adults!
But if you’re a parent, you should know that it’s important for children to visit the dentist regularly to make sure their oral health is in tiptop shape. Kids tend to be more prone to dental problems, such as cavities and infections, considering their young age. They also need to learn the basics of oral hygiene, a topic in which dentists are specially trained to give advice on.
So, how exactly do you handle children who don’t want to go to the dentist? Here are some ways you can help your child prepare for his/her first visit.
1. Take your children to the dentist while they’re still young
When you feel that they’re ready to go to the dentist, you shouldn’t hesitate to go. By starting them young, they’ll feel more comfortable going on future visits and that will relieve them of any sort of anxiety which comes with it.
2. Don’t use words that scare them
Don’t describe how painful the process can be. You don’t want to scare them away by telling children what the dentist is going to do, especially any painful (or seemingly painful) procedures that the child is likely to go through. Be more considerate when handling children this way and make sure you don’t feed on their fears.
3. Stay calm at all times
Kids may whine, nag or fuss over going to the dentist, so the last thing you want to do is to agitate them further. Remember to keep your composure and stay out of hostile territory. You need to assure your children that things will be all right and everything will go smoothly.
4. Explain why oral health is important
You may find it hard to believe, but children understand the important things in life. It’s imperative that you explain to them the consequences of poor oral hygiene, as well as neglecting to visit the dentist. Tell them that if they lose enough teeth, they’ll no longer to enjoy fried chicken, gummy bears or some of their other favorite food. That’ll motivate them for sure!
Once you start children young, they’ll see the importance of going to the dentist in the years to come.