Help! My child hates the Dentist (7 Tips)
- April 15, 2016
- 3 mins read
Establishing and developing proper dental hygiene in children is a key factor to ensuring that your child will have healthy teeth and good oral care habits as they grow old. As parents, you are the first dental-hygiene advocates in their lives and it is your responsibility that every nook and cranny in your tots mouth will get checked and be taken care of properly. However, there can be instances when kids develop a fear from seeing the dentist long before they can develop proper dental hygiene.
Help your kids overcome their fear of dentists by following these steps.
1. Start at the very beginning.
Most parents would wait until the first tooth of their child erupts and becomes visible. But a child’s mouth, from the moment they are born, has been exposed to milk and other food products they are gradually introduced to. Silicon brushes and soft clean gauze or cloth does the trick, just lightly brush your kid’s tongue and the insides of his cheek after feeding.
2. Adapt to their age.
As your child grows and become more independent with how he wants things done, you can start by teaching them how to brush their teeth and allowing them to do it on their own. It will not be perfect at first but encourage them continually so that they will get the impression that taking care of one’s teeth can be enjoyable. Only, be sure to buy fluoride-free toothpaste as they might swallow the water they gargle with rather than spit it out.
3. Make it fun.
Fun and colorful calendars that encourage brushing teeth are available online and can be printed out so that your child will look forward to brushing their teeth instead of thinking of it as a chore or a fun-spoiler. You can also join and make it as playtime which can also promote bonding between you and your mini-you.
4. Keep it simple.
When preparing to see the dentist with your kid, it is more beneficial for them if you keep things simple and not fuss about the trip. The experience will pretty much be overwhelming to your child as the environment will be different and unfamiliar, the dental chair, the instruments and even the thought of losing one’s tooth can be more than a child can chew.
5. Watch your words.
Avoid using words that may give the impression to your kid that a trip to the dentist can be scary. Refrain from using “hurt”, “pain”, “ouchy”, and even “boo-boo”, as this will influence the way your child may perceive a dentist appointment as a scene from a horror movie.
6. Pretend visit
Playing pretend with your kid can ease the tension that an impending dentist appointment may give your child. This way, your kid will not be threatened by a new environment and will be able to adjust easily to their situation since they know what to expect or they at least have an idea of what is going to happen when they will play the “patient’s” role in a real-life visit to the dentist.
7. Emphasize the importance of proper oral hygiene.
Although it is sometimes hard to believe but children really are like sponges – they absorb everything their senses detect. So even in simple words, as parents, speaking to your child and discussing the importance of good oral hygiene will help your child understand why he has to go through these things from time to time.