Being scared of visiting the dentist is one of the most common fears in adults. It is often common for children to also be afraid of going to the dentist. It is important to realise that nobody is born with fears, it’s something that can appear over time. Dental anxiety is often caused by a bad experience earlier in life. You can help prevent you child being scared by following the advice below and avoiding passing on your own fears and concerns and making the experience as enjoyable and comfortable as possible.
1) Arrange for your child to visit the dentist from a young age – ideally anytime once teeth start to come through. This enables them to get used to the experience as this can become more difficult as a child gets older.
2) Don’t pass on your own fears. Use positive language and create an impression of an enjoyable experience, rather than one of discomfort or punishment e.g. for not brushing their teeth.
3) Distraction. Bring along your child’s favourite toy or book. Having something familiar available can take them in a happier frame of mind and feel more comfortable.
4) Books/Programmes. There are various children’s books and TV programmes such as Peppa Pig with stories of a visit to the dentist. With your child being familiar with these, it helps to prepare the child for what to expect and create some familiarity.
5) Positive Reinforcement. If your child has a positive experience at the dental practice, reward their good behaviour with a treat such as a trip to the park or buying a toy they have wanted
6) Good diet and oral hygiene. It’s important to maintain good brushing techniques from an early ago and limiting sugary food and drinks to prevent dental decay. This maintains a healthy mouth and prevents the need for more extensive dental treatment which can be more traumatic for the child.
7) Visit a dental practice that has dentists and team members who are experienced of treating children and help you in creating a positive experience at every visit.
At Brightside Dental, all of our dentists are very experienced and patient with children. We have Children’s Days at regular periods throughout the year to create a more relaxed and fun environment, specifically for children and also regularly visit local primary schools to speak to children about their dental health.
For more information on how we can help with your child’s dental health please call us on 020 88884401