5 Ways to lessen your child’s fear of the dentist
Does the idea of the dentist make you cringe? Well your reactions towards a dental visit could be negatively impacting your children.
Even if it isn’t a fear you share, fear of the dentist (also known as dental phobia) can develop over time from word of mouth at school or from personal experiences.
So how can we help?
Our team here at Lutwyche Dental in North Brisbane want to help alleviate the pressures of dental fear that may be lingering over your family. The following article covers 5 easy steps that you can practice so your child has the best chance of enjoying a happy, healthy smile for a lifetime!
#1 – Find a dentist who is good with children
It can be difficult to decide if a dentist will be good for your child or not but if you’re unsure, take a look at the dental website first. Do they have a “Family Dentistry” page? Scroll through and ensure they have information on children.
When booking the appointment, consider bringing your child into the practice with you so they can get a feel of the waiting room and get to know the reception team.
Here at Lutwyche Dental, to help your child feel at ease about the practice and also to help you personally feel comfortable with your child’s dental appointments, we will take our time and make sure your young one understands why they are there and is as relaxed as possible to ensure the appointment runs smoothly.
#2 – Explain in simple terms why having a healthy mouth is important
When you ask your child to brush their teeth, make sure you regularly remind them how important brushing, flossing and visits to the dentist are for them. Use easy terms that they can relate to and give the conversations a positive spin so they have no need to feel worried.
Before your appointment, let your young one know what to expect. If you are unsure about how best to explain their appointment to them, ask the dentist to explain it for you.
Our team at Lutwyche Dental have years of experience working with families and we are happy to assist your child’s transition as much as possible, with you offering positive affirmations as we go.
#3 – Avoid using scary words and keep your own fears to yourself
If you feel dental anxiety, remember that it is your child who is undergoing treatment not you. Expressing your fears to your child is the No.1 way of passing dental phobia on to your child so do your best to support them throughout their appointment.
Words like “needle”, “drill” or “pain” can muster up anxiety or fear in your child. Just keep it simple and answer all their questions with a relaxed and at ease attitude.
#4 – Let your dentist know if your child has a history of anxiety or seems anxious
If you notice your child behaving a little uneasy, tell your dentist in confidence or in a very subtle manner so they can assist the transition. Dr McCarthy has years of experience building trustworthy healthy relationships with patients when it comes to their oral health and will give you and your child as much assistance as he can to help them feel comfortable.
#5 – Book in for regular dental appointments
The more regularly you take your child in to visit the dentist, the less afraid they will be because it will become less unknown. We suggest dental visits every six months so that not only can we get to know your little one but also track their oral health and provide education and assistance wherever possible.
It is also important to consider costs as your child’s appointments should be consistent. Here at Lutwyche Dental, we are mindful that patients want to minimise costs wherever possible and we work hard to assist by offering summarised treatment plans prior to commencing any treatments.
Dental assistance from school may not be the answer
It is important to remember that although this seems like an easy solution, having multiple dentists throughout these developing years can be a crucial contributor to dental phobia. Think back to when you were in school; did you have a school dentist? Did your school dentists contribute to the way you feel about your dental visits?
Your child’s oral health is important to us
We want to meet you! To learn more about dental phobia or to get to know our team here at Lutwyche Dental, contact us and find out how we can help you and your child feel at ease about their dental appointments.