Many children usually develop a fear of dentists at an early age, and if they do not overcome this fear, they can suffer from dental anxiety even in adult age. For children to overcome dental fear, they need to understand that dentists are not the "bad guys," and they should therefore stop perceiving dentists that way. As primary caregivers, parents have a big role to play with regards to helping little ones to overcome their fear of the dentists.
Fortunately, children's fear of dentists isn't something that can't be overcome. Here's what you can do to successfully manage your child's dental phobia, also known as dentophobia.
Don't pass your own fears onto your child.
Children tend to believe what they are told by their parents, so it is important to avoid teaching your child to fear the dentist. While you might have been scared of dentists as a child, your child doesn't need to suffer the same fate, so don't project their own bad experiences at the dental clinic onto your little one. Be watchful about what you say to your child. Stories about painful extractions won't help to keep your child calm when a dentist is poking a cold metal in their mouth, for example.
Play dentist games with your child at home.
Now that you've been to the dental office a number of times, you can probably relate to what happens there. Transform yourself into a dentist and play pretend with your child as the patient. There are lots of material available for you to teach your child about what to expect on a real visit to the dental office. You can download dentist games for children or read picture books with easy-to-understand illustrations for children. Let your child lay on the couch as you pretend to be the dentist examining if they have been brushing their teeth properly as you instructed. Be sure to make playtime fun.
Let your child see the dentist early.
Start taking your child to the dentist while they are still young. This will help them get used to the environment at dental offices. You don't have to take them to your general dentist. Rather, find a paediatric dentist for your child, as they can employ special relaxation techniques to help children avoid dental anxiety. For example, paediatric dental offices usually have kid-friendly features such as toys to distract kids and help them relax during dental visits.
Helping your child to overcome their fears is a source of great joy. Practising the above tips can go a long way in ensuring your child overcomes dental fear at an early age. For more information or advice, contact a local dentist.Share
15 December 2017
Miranda Raff here. My brother is a stressed-out dental student, so I'm starting this blog on his behalf. I work in a travel agency and my brother is mortified by the number of dental tourism stories I bring home. I book short holidays for people who seem as though they are going to enjoy some relaxation in an exotic country, only to learn that they plan to have cheap dental procedures. Whilst there are good dentists in developing countries, according to my brother, the complex procedures these people plan to have simply can't be finished in such a limited time. This blog is an attempt to inform you about the high skill levels and advanced technology found in Australian dental surgeries. New techniques are being developed every year and Australian dentists are at the forefront of offering these solutions. I really hope this blog helps you to appreciate our dentists.