If your child hates going to the dentist, we have a few helpful tips to assist him or her in getting through the process. Going to the dentist can be scary, even for adults. Read our previous blog, Help Your Child Enjoy Going To The Dentist – Part One, to learn about the first set of tips to help your child overcome his or her fears. At Lifetime Smiles, a dentist office located in Austin, we want to ensure that both you and your child feel comfortable while at the dentist and are able to receive the treatment needed. We offer pediatric and general dentistry as well as many other services you can benefit from. Read a few more tips about helping your child with his or her dentist office fears.
Words have a lot of power. When you say something derogatory and hurtful, it can bother someone more than your think. When we were little, we were told to watch our words, and as adults we still need to because we never know who can be hurt by them. When you use words like ‘shot,’ ‘hurt,’ or ‘pain,’ when describing the dentist, it’s liable to set your child off. When your child hears negative terms like ‘shot’ and ‘hurt,’ it can be seen as scary to your child. Children are smarter than people give them credit for, and when they hear negative terms they associate it with negative things. If you say, “Don’t be afraid; this might hurt,” your child will become afraid. If the staff has their own vocabulary to help your child through a check up, then let them handle it.
Kids love to pretend. When you’re a kid, your imagination can run wild with possibilities. To help your children overcome their fears of going to the dentist, consider playing ‘dentist appointment.’ Make a game out of it to encourage a positive experience. Play patient and dentist, and use a toothbrush as a tool. You can play whatever way you want, but make sure that it’s a positive experience and let both of you take turns being patient and dentist. You can count the teeth, which can also help with counting and even hold a mirror up so your child can see how non-threatening it may be. Avoid mentioning negative terms and making drill sounds. The point is to make your child feel familiar with the appointment and comfortable so there are no surprises.
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