What to do when your child is scared of the dentist

What to do when your child is scared of the dentist

March 11, 2020 5:56 am Published by

Not many of us would say we really enjoy going to the dentist – but what do you do if you have a fear of it? And, what if your child feels that way? Dentophobia, or as it’s more commonly known, a fear of the dentist, is usually a result of previous bad experiences.

Unfortunately, this fear can be experienced by children as well as adults, or even passed on. Here’s what to do to help make that fear disappear.

Talk more
It’s important that children see the dentist as a part of everyday life, and not something to be feared or avoided. If you have a fear of the dentist yourself, then it may be worth getting some professional help in order not to pass the feelings onto your child. Try not to talk about your own experiences if they were negative. At any rate – make sure that talking about the dentist is normal. Be positive and avoid mentioning emotive phrases like feeling worried or calm – while it can be well-intentioned, this can help prompt fearful feelings.

Tell, show and do
Make sure you do three things. First, take your child to a dentist such as Drs. Nicolas & Asp as soon as their first tooth shows through. Next, take your children with you to the dental clinic, so they see you going there (and leaving!) without any hassle or worry. If you have younger children, let them come to an appointment with an older child, so they can see that it’s not a big deal. Third, go to the best pediatric dentist in Dubai. A pediatric dentist is a child friendly dentist who is specially trained to help children and can explain everything in a non-scary way. They will also have toys, games, and other distractions at hand to make the experience much less intimidating than going to see an adult dentist, with all the strange noises and instruments.

Try to avoid ‘treating’ your child after a successful dental appointment. Like using emotional words, this can lead your child to believe the dentist is something to get through and survive, rather than just a normal experience! However, it’s OK to tell your child they did well – just don’t go overboard on the praise.

Break the ice
Make sure the first visit to the best pediatric dentist in Dubai is a simple one. The dentist can check your child’s overall oral health, maybe do a light clean – and that’s it. Even if more work is required, it’s best not to try and do it all in the first appointment. Also, make sure you tell your child about the appointment in advance, so it’s not a surprise. You don’t need to explain about treatments and procedures though – let the dentist do that in their own well-practiced way. Choose a child-friendly dentist that is good with small ones and can really take their time to get to know your child. It’s best if your child can see the same dentist at Drs. Nicolas & Asp again, once they have built up a connection.

Regular visits
Visit the pediatric dentist every six months in order to maintain the best oral health for your child. It’s really important to fix a fear of the dentist early on so that the problem doesn’t follow your child into adulthood. Avoiding seeing the dentist can lead to bigger problems, that only need to be resolved later. If the problem is related to another fear, such as of needles or doctors, then it might be a good idea to seek counseling or a similar service that can treat the underlying cause.

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