Fear of the unknown is a common fear for many children. Even when kids are starting a new, fun activity like swimming lessons or starting school they are often shy and fearful before they bond with their new teacher. For many children going to see a new dentist or doctor can incite the same fear. Sometimes, kids need a little encouragement so they can see that a visit to the dentist is positive and even fun visit. Here are some helpful tips about helping your kids overcome their fear of the dentist.
Find a pediatric dentist
Pediatric dentists have more experience than your general dentist because they work with children every day and know the fear tactics. You can find dentists in Ottawa that can assure your child he or she is in great hands.
Make an appointment that doesn’t conflict with the child’s sleep pattern
Try to schedule an appointment with the dentist that doesn’t conflict with your child’s sleep pattern. Sudden outbursts and tantrums tend to happen when kids are tired. Try to schedule an appointment earlier in the morning when the child is less like to react negatively due to being tired or a couple hours after nap time.
Stay calm and let the dentist and their staff guide you. Be sure to follow the suggestions that the dental professionals give you – they are experienced in dealing with new families and patients and can offer you the best advice on how to navigate this new terrain. Allowing the dentist to take the lead and control the flow of the appointment also allows your child to see the dentist as a trustworthy authority figure.
Avoid bad words
Watch what words you use. Words such as pain, shot or hurt can raise questions. Introduce him to the staff and let the staff talk to him about the visit.
Keep it simple and casual by avoiding too many questions. Allowing a lot of questions can open a door of concern for the child.
Play the game
Plan a pretend visit with the dentist. Office tours and staff introductions will ensure your child that there isn’t anything to fear. Allowing your child to be introduced to this new environment will allow them to feel familiar and at ease when it comes times for their first real appointment.