Taking children to the dentist can be stressful, especially if parents have come to spend a lot of time worrying about their own dental appointments. So, how can you make visits to the dentist less scary? Below are some clever ideas to steer clear of tears and tantrums!
Bring them along at an early age
The more normal it feels to sit in that dental chair, the less anxiety it will cause. So, follow your dentist’s recommendation and start routine check-ups from an early age- even as young as 6 months old. Introducing a child to the dental environment at an older age, with all those strange smells and sounds, can provoke feelings of worry or even fear due to it being an unknown space. But, if your child grows up considering visits to the dentist as a normal part of life, chances are your little one will feel no strain during routine appointments.
Bring along their favourite toy
Sometimes, carting things like comfort blankets around with you when visiting the dentist can be useful, especially in times of anxiety or stress. Encourage your child to select their favourite toy to bring along to ‘show the dentist’, this will help to take their mind off any anxiety surrounding the appointment and replace it with excitement.
Take a fun tour
We put a lot of effort into making patients feel comfortable in the dental chair, regardless of their age. So, if you think that a quick tour of one of our dental practices would help your little one feel at ease, please just ask!
Don’t Pass on Your Fear
Many parents speak about the dentist in a negative manner, but while it may not be top of our favourite things to do list, using words like ‘hate’ or ‘pain’ can set a precedent before the child has even been to their first appointment. Whatever your own feelings, throw on a smile, be brave, and create an enjoyable dental experience for your children!
Play pretend dentist
Get your child acquainted with some aspect of a dental appointment and make the experience as fun as possible. For example, you could play pretend dentist and have him/her, say, count your teeth while holding a small dental mirror. If you have fillings, explain why it is important to avoid having them (though necessary sometimes) in a way that does not introduce fear.
Getting kids used to visiting the dentist can be much less of an ordeal than you may have imagined if you make the experience fun and part of normal life. So, stay calm and relaxed, despite your own dental phobias (if you have any just ask us about solutions for patients with dental phobias), and start teaching your little one about good hygiene and dental health from an early age!
If you’d like to book your child’s first dental appointment, or arrange for them to come in and see a dental practice, click here to find your nearest Clyde Munro Dental Practice and get in touch with us today.