Most caring parents will want their kids to have healthy teeth accompanied by splendid oral hygiene habits.
This can be a daunting task for some parents as a trip to the dentist with their children is never a fun experience.
Some kids are scared of going to the dentist, this fear at times can be traced to the parents own dental fears. Luckily, the problem of dental anxiety in children can be tackled by parents.
Below are tips to help parents manage dental anxiety in children:
1. Explain the importance of good oral hygiene
Most children will not understand why going to the dentist is important. If they are old enough to talk, they might ask, “Why go to the dentist?”. Therefore, parents must come up with a tangible outcome that will serve as a demonstration to their children on why maintaining a good oral hygiene is very important. It is prudent that as a parent you explain to your child the benefits that come with visiting a dentist and maintaining excellent oral hygiene. Explain to them what having a good smile and healthy teeth will do to their morale. Explain the effects of not having a good smile as well. This way, no matter how young they are, they will begin to appreciate the trips to the dentist.
2. Explain to them what to expect
Children hate being in places and with people they cannot familiarise themselves with. Therefore, parents must ensure that they ease their children’s minds by simply explaining to them what will be happening at the dental clinic. Try and explain to them in a simple and more elaborate manner about the white teeth fillings or the resin tooth filling they are going to get. Avoid going into details about the complexity of the procedure because they might not understand you and also because most dentists are trained to tackle some of these questions when attending to the kids.
3. Start early
Taking your child to the dentist from an early age will help them familiarise themselves with the dental experience. This will help them cope with dental anxiety as they grow older. When children go from a young age they will only be riding in the chair and getting their teeth counted and they will develop a relationship with the dentist and the practice. This will help take some of the anxiety away. Your dentist should be able to advise you on the best time to start bringing your children.
4. Avoid offering them bribes
Offering your child a bribe does not help them with their apprehension of visiting a dentist. This is something that most experts discourage in parents. Your child does not benefit from a sugary treat after the dentist has advised against eating sweets that cause cavities. Instead, tell them how proud you are of them. Offer them compliments and praise to uplift their spirit after a trip to the dental hospital.
5. Get a friendly dentist
You may know a good dentist who is not familiar or good at treating children. Letting such a dentist treat your child will only worsen their anxiety. Instead, let your child be treated by a pediatric dentist who is well trained on how to handle children. Such dentists make a visit to the dentist fun for children as well as educative for them. They offer pre-visits to children where they will meet the staff and see some of the equipment used in dental works. So when your kid goes to dentist, ensure that they go to a friendly place that they are familiar with.
Has your child suffered from anxiety when going to the dentist? Please SHARE your experience in the below comments.
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