Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

3 Tricks to Help Your Kids Not Be Afraid of the Dentist

Going to the dentist can be frightening for a child. The offices often have an atmosphere of quiet professionalism. The dentist has a strange kind of chair, and there may be unfamiliar equipment scattered around. Its ultimately up to you to decide when to take your child to their first dental appointment, but we encourage you not to wait too long. If your child displays some anxiety about going to the dentist, there are some actions you can take to alleviate his or her fears.

1 – Read Books About Going to the Dentist

You can find a number of children’s books that explain what dentists do and what happens during an average dental visit. These stories can help to answer questions that children have that they may not be able to put into verbal form. The books also show average children calmly undergoing exams and teeth cleaning, so that children can visualize themselves in the same situation.

2 – Act Out Going to the Dentist with Toys

Parents can help their child understand what goes on at the dentist by using dolls or stuffed animals as “patients” to help allay fears. This playtime exposure to the dental experience makes events more familiar and less threatening. An experienced dentistry practice, such as Valley Oak Dental Group Inc, can suggest a number of methods for providing children with information about dental care that can help to reduce fearfulness.

3 – Be A Good Role Model

Children pick up many of their attitudes from their parents, so you should be a good role model for dental hygiene. Talk to your child about your own positive experiences at the dentist. Tell your children when you have a dental appointment coming up and how much better you feel after it. Let your children see you engaging in good dental habits, like regular brushing and avoiding sweets. These measures will be a visible model for your children in regard to their own dental care.

Caring for your teeth is an important part of overall self-care. By making a visit to the dentist a teachable moment, you can help your child understand the importance of taking care of themselves with proactive measures, like going to the dentist regularly. If your child is familiar with the dental experience, he or she will be less anxious about these visits and will be ready for more comprehensive work when a dental problem arises.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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