Tips to help children who fear dentists

Visiting the dentist can be scary for young children. Ease your child’s fear with these tips:

  • The earlier your child visits the dentist, the better. Dr. Baker recommends bringing your child in for his/her first visit around age 3.
  • Prepare your child for his/her first visit but don’t give too much information that will encourage questions. Don’t mention fillings or any other treatments, which will cause anxiety.
  • Avoid using words like “shot, hurt or pain” when talking about the dentist. Instead use positive words like “clean, strong and healthy.”
  • Before your child’s first visit, play dentist with him/her. You be the dentist and have your child be the patient. Count your child’s teeth and brush them with a toothbrush.
  • Don’t bribe your child with the promise of a sugary treat after a dentist visit, as it sends the wrong message. Instead, praise your child for good behavior.
  • Teach your child the importance of dental health, telling him/her that visiting the dentist is a necessity for maintaining a healthy smile. Set a good example by visiting the dentist regularly yourself.

 

Source: Parents.com