Research from dental sciences reveals that up to 42% of children (and even tweens up to 14 years old) have fears about going to the dentist. This can be problematic since dental visits are one of the core medical trips you need to do regularly to stay healthy and live well. Thankfully, the same study reveals that experience and age can help ease out this fear. The first step lies in being able to make them go in the first place.
Here are some ways you can make the dentist less scary:
- Lead by example
Children often pick up their own anxiety from seeing their own parents’ perceptions and habits. Developmental psychologists note that children learn and behave by imitation, so the best thing you can do is show them yourself that it is simply a natural part of life to visit the dentist and that you yourself don’t mind it. When they see that you have a good outlook towards it and they witness your own visits going well, it can add a lot of ease to their minds regarding their own visits.
You can also actively search for a children’s dentist in South Jordan and other Utah areas to make sure that they have a place that is really catered toward kids. Bringing them there can give them dentists who are experienced in handling anxious youths and can help you show them that is can be a comfortable space.
- Explain everything and focus on the positives
Fear of the unknown can do a lot, and kids’ imaginations can run wild imagining how painful and torturous the dentist’s office could be. This line of thinking can be easily combatted by being detailed and letting your children know what exactly happens at the dentists’ office and why these procedures need to be done.
Of course, it’s important to angle everything in a positive way and focus on the benefits of the visit, so that your child can associate it with the facts without being scared about it. This will also depend on your tone and approach. Overall, the effectivity of your communication hinges on your listening, so make sure you really make them feel at ease telling you what exactly they are worried about the trip. Licensed counselors note that the best way to communicate with a child is by encouraging them based on genuinely listening to their concerns and emotions before responding.
- Make it a fun trip
Help your kid get to know their dentist better so that it’s not like visiting a complete stranger each time, and then find different ways to incentivize going. Although you shouldn’t use bribery as a general way to capture children’s obedience, giving your child a comfort factor like a treat or going out afterward can help them feel less uneasy about any scheduled visits to the dental clinic. Talk about the visit afterward and make little games related to taking care of one’s teeth to help them associate good things with essentials like this.
With these methods, you can make dental trips easier for your children so you can make sure that they have good oral health without all the stress.