- Long Island, NY

Articles Business Directory Blog Real Estate Community Forum Shop My Family Contests

Making Dental Smiles: Overcoming Children’s Fear of the Dentist

Notebook Save to notebook Email Email article Print Print article More More articles

By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

Not surprisingly, one of the many difficult times for a child is when it is time to visit the dentist. Many can relate as adults; there is a certain amount of anxiety, no matter what the age, with the unknown elements of going to the dentist. For children, everything is new. They don’t know what to expect from a cleaning, let alone any bigger issues. Help dispel some of the anxiety by helping your child cope with and get used to the “idea” of going to the dentist.

Make sure to bring your child to the dentist as early in their childhood as possible. Just like with so much else in your child’s life, fear often blooms from uncertainty. Help them get over that fear by learning who the dentist is and by getting used to them and their office. Then, whether just for a regular checkup or for an emergency visit, the trip to the dentist itself will not cause any unnecessary anxiety or fear.

When preparing for a dentist visit, try to keep the prep and lead up as quick and simple as possible. Children are naturally curious and inquisitive; if they are give too much notice about a dental visit, they are apt to ask a lot of questions and become anxious. Children will want to know all that happens at a dentist, and information about treatments (especially when not necessary for them) can cause them to become afraid of the visit. Also, when asked, try to avoid typical soothing statements, such as “everything will be fine.” If you child does need treatment, they are apt to lose trust or expect that from every visit.

Let your dental staff fill in the details for you. It is easy to slip out a panic word, such as “shot” or “hurt,” when answering a barrage of questions in the waiting room. If you let your child know that the staff can answer all of their questions, they will often accept the information “from the expert.” A pediatric dental team often has their own technique for helping little ones through this scary ordeal by letting them know that they “just need to count their teeth and check their smile,” or “see how strong and healthy they are.”

Work the dentist into their routine, reminding them of the importance of good oral hygiene. Set the ground work from the very beginning by setting a good example and good habits for dental health. Have morning and evening rituals for flossing, brushing, and rinsing teeth together. Make the dentist out to be the referee or teacher, helping them check to see how they’re brushing. Also, work “playing dentist” into the routine on occasion. Get them used to their mouth being looked at with a mirror and even let them look at yours. The best way to dispel the fear is through familiarization.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > Making Dental Smiles: Overcoming Children’s Fear of the Dentist

New Businesses
1 More Rep
Carleton Hall of East Islip
J&A Building Services
LaraMae Health Coaching
Sonic Wellness
Julbaby Photography LLC
Ideal Uniforms
Teresa Geraghty Photography
Camelot Dream Homes
Long Island Wedding Boutique
MB Febus- Rodan & Fields
Camp Harbor
ACM Basement Waterproofing
Travel Tom

      Follow LIWeddings on Facebook

      Follow LIFamilies on Twitter
Long Island Bridal Shows