How to Help Kids Overcome Fear of Dentists
Going to the dentist is one of the most horrible moments of every child, and pet animals alike. The dangerous-looking instruments, pointed needles, the smell of the medicines etc. all scare the wits out of the kids. When I was a kid, my mother used to take me to the dentist every month. The journey from the home to the dentist’s clinic was so torturous it felt as I had been selected to fight in the Hunger Games for my district. But as I have grown older, I have realized the importance of brushing and flossing and the monthly visits to the dentists for kids. If your kids start a battle at the name of the dentists, this article will help your kids overcome the fear of dentists.
- Do a mock rehearsal with your kid
Play dentist with your kid. Pretend to be a dentist, wear clean plastic gloves and playfully check his/her teeth with a small mirror. Then brush her teeth. This way, your kid will get used to of the procedure that he/she can expect, and will not get surprised by a stranger poking the instruments into her mouth. You can be creative and reverse the roles. You become the patient and your child can become the dentist.
- Replace difficult medical terms with familiar words
Words that are difficult to pronounce scare the kids easily as compared to the words that they are familiar with. Do not say that the dentist will use a ‘magnifying mouth mirror’ to see your teeth. Instead, say that the dentist will use a ‘magic mirror’. Avoid using the word ‘shot’ in your conversation. Say that ‘the dentist will give you a potion to make your teeth more beautiful’.
- Do not take them to the clinic during your own dental check-up
The offices of dentists for kids look different from dental offices for adults. They are more colourful and have toys to make the room look friendly. Taking your kid with you during your own dental check-up will increase the fear of dentists in your child. Additionally, if you are slightly scared of the dentist yourself, the fear will be transferred to your kid through his/her observation.
- Start taking kids to the clinic at a young age
Just like you train your kids to brush their hair, wash their faces, eat on time, consider making regular dentist’s visit your kids’ habits. Start as soon as possible. The sooner, the better.Start taking your child to the dentist as soon as his/her first tooth comes out. When the kid will grow up, he/she will become accustomed to the procedure and will not freak out and cry.
- Do not give extra details
Your child does not need to know the details of the procedure. Let the dentist explain to your kid in detail. They have operated on several kids and they know how to illustrate according to the mental level of kids. Do not say that “the dentist will be doing the treatment on your teeth”. Instead, say that “the dentist will take out the sugar monsters out of your mouth”.