Regular dental check ups are important for your child to not only to maintain healthy teeth but to also develop good oral hygiene habits from a young age. But one of the biggest roadblocks to taking your child to the dentists’ is Dentophobia.
Fear of Dentists, or Dentophobia, is a common problem people of all age groups face. And at times it's so bad that people avoid going to the dentists’ until really necessary, leading to devastating consequences. This fear tends to be worse in children who are naturally apprehensive of doctors and hospitals. Here are some tips to help ease your child's dental fear:
- Start Young: Starting dental visits from a young age can go a long way in easing your Childs dental fear. They will get into the routine of visiting the dentist and will get less apprehensive over time. It will also ensure that your child gets preventive dental care whenever required, reducing his or her chances of having more severe dental problems later, in turn leading to less trauma and anxiety.
- Start Small: If your child is already nervous about his visit to the dentists, try taking him for a pretend visit first. Let him meet the dentist and get familiar with him and the dental environment. Unless there is an emergency, its advisable to start with less extensive procedures first before going to something like an extraction or a root canal so that the child gets comfortable with the dentist.
- Don't make a 'Monster' out of the dentist: A very common method parents, especially here in India, use to get things done is fear. They try to scare and threaten their kids with a variety of malicious things that the dentist might do if they don’t cooperate. But trying to scare or threaten your child into getting dental treatment done is a bad idea. You are not only ruining any chances your child had of getting comfortable with the dentist but also ensuring that any future visits will be just as bad if not worse. Be gentle and encourage your child to get comfortable with the dentist
- Watch your Words: Children pick up things fast, so its best to avoid relating unpleasant personal dental experiences or projecting your own anxiety on to the child. It's also a good idea to avoid using words like ‘injections’ and ‘pain’ in relation to the dentist. It's best to simplify the visit for the kid and tell them something non-threatening like ‘the dentist is going to count your teeth’ or ‘the dentist is going to check your smile’
- Trust your Dentist: It is normal for children to fuss a little when they go to the dentists. Let the dentist take charge. They will usually explain the procedure to the child in a non-threatening simple way. Dentists that treat children are trained to deal with your child's anxiety and fears.