Anxiety over going to the dentist makes many people avoid scheduling checkups. For some, this anxiety begins in childhood and lasts a lifetime. Parents can give their children a good start by instilling a positive mindset about dental visits so that they will continue to take care of their oral health even through adulthood.

Be Honest with Your Child

It is important that you do not make a trip to the dentist into an ordeal. Just approach it as a perfectly normal part of keeping healthy. Let your child know ahead of time about an upcoming dental checkup so that it isn’t a surprise, and answer their questions about what dentist visits are like. Avoid upsetting words like “pain” and “shots,” and let your dental professional fill in the details about the procedures when your child is there.

Don’t Make the Dentist Sound Scary

Don’t ever use the a dentist visit as a threat. If you say things like, “If you don’t brush your teeth, you’ll end up at the dentist!” then your child may think dental appointments are punishments to be feared and avoided.

If your child is already afraid to see the dentist, you might have a little more work cut out for you, but it’s not too late to turn your child’s attitude around! Communication is important.

Ask your child about why they’re afraid of the dentist and your responses can help alleviate their fears. Lead by example by showing them that you go to the dentist too.

Even for adults, the idea of having someone poking and prodding in your mouth can be unsettling, so imagine how that must be for a child. Make sure your child understands that dental cleanings will make their teeth healthy and free from bad germs and tooth decay.

We at Island Family Dental are Happy To Help!

Our team knows how to work with children to make them feel more comfortable and take some of the “scary” away, so don’t feel like you have to go it alone without our help!

We’re looking forward to helping you keep your child’s smile healthy and bright!

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