How To Help Your Child Overcome Fear of the Dentist

Regular dental visits are an important part of oral health care. But for youngsters, a trip to the dentist can be very scary.

Think about it from their point of view – having to sit in an unfamiliar room where there are strange noises and smells along with unfamiliar objects. Then a stranger comes close and places cold, metallic instruments in the mouth. Not exactly like cuddling at home with mom or dad!

Here are some easy tips that will help make your child’s dental visits more comfortable and relaxed:

  • It’s what you say. When preparing your child for the first visit to the dentist, keep any discussion very general. Use positive language but leave room for any necessary treatment. In other words, don’t say “Everything will be fine.”
  • It’s what you don’t say. Stay away from any scary words like “pain,” “hurt” or “shot.” Here at Candlewood Dental, we have our own language to explain your child’s teeth and what a dentist does in a way that is simple and easy to understand.
  • Try a pretend dentist visit. You act as the dentist and play simple games like opening their mouth, counting their teeth and brushing their teeth gently with their toothbrush. Use a small mirror to show how the dentist will check their teeth. Then they can do the same thing to their favorite stuffed animal.
  • Avoid sharing your own feelings. You may not even realize that you are somewhat uncomfortable or anxious about your own dental visits, but these feelings can seep through to your child.
  • Stay calm if your child reacts negatively. This is normal! Take a cue from the dental hygienist and dentist. We deal with children every day and will guide you as to what is the most helpful behavior while your child is in the dentist’s chair.

By treating your child’s dental visit as a routine, normal part of growing up healthy, you’ll be reinforcing the importance of good oral care!

Let Us Know If You Have Questions on Any Aspect of Oral Health Care

Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years. Our office serves the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York. You can call us at 203-746-1200.