Parents know it’s important for their children to take care of their teeth. Maybe you’ve experienced what it means to need special care because you neglected yours, or maybe you’ve needed it through no fault of your own. Either way, you want better for your child. That doesn’t mean they’re going to feel good about going though. Children sometimes feel scared or upset about going to the dentist. So what can you do as a parent to help them feel better?
Set the Tone
Children are little sponges, and they’re watching you closely. Very closely. Yes, even when it seems like that’s exactly the opposite of what’s happening. The point is, that if you feel apprehensive or negative about taking them to the dentist, that’s what they’re going to pick up on and they’ll feel similarly. The good news is that this holds true for positive things as well. If you’re positive about taking them and the experience as a whole, they’ll be more likely to feel good about going too.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to pretend that everything’s all sunshine and rainbows when things are going to be a bit unpleasant. Children don’t just look to parents for cues on how to feel about things. They trust them to be honest and tell them the truth. That means that telling your child that something isn’t going to hurt when it may isn’t going to go over well. That isn’t to say that you should make a big deal about it.
We suggest allowing our experienced team to guide your child through their appointment with honest and kid friendly language. Not over-explaining beforehand will ensure your child has less anticipation anxiety and will have a better dental experience.
Give Them Something to Look Forward To
Everyone likes having something to look forward to, especially when it’s on the other side of something unpleasant. Of course, considering that you’re taking them to the dentist, following that up with a sugary treat may not be the best course of action. Depending on the work being done, you might offer to take them to their favorite park afterward or let them choose a favorite movie or show to watch when you get home. Whatever you offer, make sure it’s something they’ll really look forward to and enjoy.
Going to the dentist can be a little scary for kids sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be. Our Stellar Kids Dentistry clinics in particular are put together with children in mind and know how to work with them. Just make sure you’re doing your part as a parent to make the experience as good as it can be for your child and let them handle the rest.
One of the biggest concerns parents and children alike have is how much something might hurt. Check out our Dental Sedation Options to see how we help your child be as comfortable as possible during their visit with us.