Monday 20 January 2020

How to help children overcome a fear of the dentist

Image Source: Unsplash
Many children have a fear of the dentist’s chair, which might be due to a painful memory, or simply a fear of needles. Indeed, it is not uncommon to find adults that are also afraid of visiting the dentist. If your child dreads dental check-up appointment, here are a few tips to remove the anxiety and help the child to actually enjoy the experience.

* Discuss The Up And Coming Dental Appointment - If you are thinking it is best not to mention the dental appointment until the last minute, this is not a good idea, as the child is not in any way prepared and this could increase the anxiety. Bring up the topic a few days prior to the appointment and when you discuss the visit, do so in a calm manner and be prepared to answer any questions your child might have, as this will go a long way towards helping them to deal with any anxiety.

* Be A Good Role Model - This is perhaps the best tip of all, and by taking your child the next time you visit the dentist, they will see first-hand how calmly you are when in the dentist’s chair. If you ask your dentist, they would be happy to allow your child to sit in on your treatment, which would help the child overcome the fear of the dentist. If you are currently looking to register with a child-friendly dentist and happen to be in Australia, there’s a Northbridge kids dentist near Chatswood. Going to such clinic is ideal for children, as they have a wealth of experience in dealing with kids who have fear of the dentist.

* Conscious Sedation - If all else fails, there is always a short burst of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, as it is known. Talk to your dentist in advance and he or she may recommend this as a last resort. If nothing else, it will calm your child and that will help them to remain at ease during the treatment.

* The Reward System - Of course, as adults, we already know that the rewards for dental check-ups and treatment are healthy teeth and gums, yet kids very often do not really understand this, so you can give your child a small reward after the dental visit is over. This could come in the form of taking them to see a movie, or visiting a theme park, or anything that you know your child is interested in. A quick Google search should lead you to articles that talk about how to help children overcome a fear of dental treatment, which can provide you with more information on how to deal with a child who has anxiety when visiting the dentist.

Image Source: Pixabay
It is very important to overcome children’s fear of dentistry, otherwise it will be with them throughout their life, and this could cause problems in later life. All of the above are tried and tested strategies and you know your child better than anyone else, so you can decide what is the best approach. Once a single appointment passes without incident, it is likely that the fear will subside.

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