Lots of people have a fear of the dentist – maybe it’s the needles, maybe it’s the potential pain or just the idea of someone messing around in your mouth. Whatever the reason for that fear, it often starts when we are kids. So as parents, what can we do to help kids be unafraid of visiting the dentist?
Start at an early age
There are two reasons to start taking your kids to the dentist at an early age – to watch for potential problems and to get them used to the visits. Find a Montreal dentist that works with children and start going from as young an age as they recommend. This can help spot potential problems with their teeth from the very earliest part and will make a trip to the dentist seem no different than a trip to school or the doctor’s – just a normal part of life.
Don’t go into detail
When kids are young, it can pay to keep the information you give them about the dentist trip to a minimum. Don’t tell them everything will be fine because it is isn’t, then they can lose trust in you and the dentist. Instead, focus on the dentist going to make sure all of your teeth are healthy so you can eat your favorite foods or something similar. Don’t mention potential procedures unless they are old enough to understand or have had them before – as long as the experience was a positive one.
Take a pretend visit
Some dentists will even recommend a pretend visit before a serious examination takes place. This lets them get familiar with the idea of visiting the dentist and see what it is harmless. You can also prepare them for what the dentist will be doing, holding up a mirror and showing what it looks like to have your teeth checked. It can even be a game, counting how many teeth they have. You can even get books that introduce kids to the dentists in a fun and relaxed way.
Kill your own nerves
It can be easy to be nervous yourself for a visit to the dentist – you might be worried about your child’s reaction, the cost or even just have a bit of a phobia yourself. Try really hard not to let your child pick up on these feelings as they will likely mimic them and develop those same nerves themselves when visiting the dentist in the future.