Helping Children Overcome Fear of Doctors and Dentists

It is common for children to be afraid of doctors and dentists. This is simply because they are unfamiliar with doctor and dentist offices and are intimidated by the tools that they may use on them. Taking your children to the doctor or dentist is necessary in keeping them healthy and promoting excellent oral hygiene habits. To help ease your child’s fear during their next trip to the dentist or doctor, these tips aim to help them feel more comfortable and relaxed.

Talking About It
When your child needs a check-up at the doctor or needs a teeth cleaning at the dentist, you will want to talk to them about it beforehand while keeping it simple. You will not want to tell them too many details about what may happen at their doctor visit, as this could raise more questions and concerns in your child than necessary. Instead, keep a positive attitude about the visit and discuss simple things like the doctor will help them to feel better or that the dentist will make their teeth sparkling clean.

A Pretend Visit at Home
You can make a visit to the doctor or dentist more comfortable and a lot more more fun by having a pretend visit at home. Let your child be the doctor for the day and give you a pretend check-up. You can also used pretend doctor tools on your children to simulate what they may experience at the real doctors office.

Picture Books
There’s no better way to teach children about a situation that may be frightening to them than with visuals. Sit down with your child and read a book themed around a visit to the dentist or doctor. You will want to choose a child-friendly book with easy-to-understand language and detailed pictures that help them to understand different procedures and to have an idea of what to expect during their appointment.

Stressing the Importance
When you talk to your child about their upcoming appointment, you will want to stress just how important it is for them to get better, be healthy or to have clean teeth. Children are less likely to be afraid when the situation is made into something that they understand. For example, explain that the dentist will take care of his or her teeth so that they are strong enough for them to eat their favorite foods with.

Keeping it Fun
As you talk about the doctor or dentist, never mention the words shots or hurt to your children, as they will scare them more. Let the staff members at the doctors office tell your child what will happen next, as they work with children regularly. Keep it fun by telling your child that the dentist is just going to count their teeth and brighten their silly smile.

 

Able Dental Group has a fun program where if the child has kept up good dental habits from the previous visit, the child receives an official certificate from the office. Imagine how much easier it can be for a child when they are going to a dentist appointment to see if they passed the test, with a reward in mind? Depending on your child, you may need to offer a bit more than a certificate, but the principle is the same.

With these simple tips, you are sure to make your child’s next appointment a much less fearful experience. Going to the doctor doesn’t have to be scary for your child.

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