It is common for many children to develop a fear of the dentist. The problem occurs when that fear becomes intense and to the point where your child is refusing to go for dental checkups or experiences an extreme amount of anxiety when going. This is why you will want to take action to help your child overcome his or her fear of the dentist.
Watch Some Fun Videos
Take a little time to search the Internet for fun kid-friendly videos about going to the dentist. Make sure that it is a fun video and not a plain boring one. Otherwise, your child may lose interest and he or she will not gain anything of value from the video. You might want to watch the video a few times with your child and talk about everything you see in it.
Set Up A Pretend Dentist Office In Your Living Room
A couch or a recliner can act as the dentist chair and a small end table can be where all of the tools for the dentist are placed. A small flashlight, a tooth brush, and a wooden tongue depressor can be the tools for the person pretending to be the dentist. First, allow your child to be the dentist, as this may help him or her feel as thought they have some control over the situation. Have your child shine the light in your mouth and gently poke at your teeth with the wooden tongue depressor. Once your checkup is done, it is time to switch places. This way, your child can now begin to get used to the idea of being the patient in the dental office. Make it fun and do this several times over the course of a few weeks before the scheduled dental appointment. Before you know it, your child will feel ready to go to the real dentist.
Reassure Your Child That You Will Be There
Some dental offices do not let anyone back to the exam room with the patient, even if the patient is a child. This is not good for children who have a fear of the dentist. Therefore, you will want to focus on finding a pediatric dentist who will most likely allow you to go back to the exam room with our child. Just knowing that you will be there every step of the way can help your child put some of his or her fears aside.
Do make sure that you are scheduling the dental appointment for your child as soon as possible, especially if he or she will be a new patient. This is because it can take a few weeks before you are able to have your child seen due to their scheduling needs.