There are few things more traumatic than taking your child to the dentist when they are completely petrified and looking to you for help. Thankfully only 1 of my 3 are like this and it is an ordeal which we have had to deal with for many years. After so many years of trying to find a way around this, we have just about managed to minimize the level of trauma, rather than allaying her fears entirely. Trying to help someone get over a fear of the dentist is all but impossible but there are ways of ensuring that it goes as smoothly as possible. If you are in the same boat as I am then here are some tips on making that appointment just a little but easier on all involved.
Get a Great Dentist
Some dentists are naturals around nervous patients and this is something which you need to find for your child. Some dentists even specialize in treating children because of their fun and relaxed approach and I was even able to find a Cardiff orthodontist for children, who has greatly improved my child’s dental experiences. Don’t settle with the dentist which you have unless they are great with kids, if you think that you can do better then look around your local area for a specialist.
Early Morning Appointment
My newest idea to help my child worry less about their appointment is by springing on her first thing in the morning. I found that when we had appointments after school that she would spend all day working herself up into frenzy in anticipation of the dreaded appointment. With an early morning appointment this doesn’t happen, and I have also found it best not to tell her until about an hour before we go. This may not sound conventional but it really does work.
Use The Fear
Another slightly unconventional method which we have used is taking the fear which they have of going to the dentist and utilizing it as encouragement and motivation to take better care of her teeth. She knows now that the better her dental hygiene is, the less she will have to go to the dentist and this seems to have really helped. Such is her fear that she is militant with brushing and flossing her teeth, and avoiding things that may pose a risk to her dental health. The ultimate way to get over this fear is to remove it altogether, and that is why we encourage better oral hygiene with our daughter.
A long term favorite of ours has been to reward our daughter after she makes it through an appointment, incentivizing her to make it through the appointment as best as she can. Naturally the other kids are a bit jealous of this, but anything I can do to make the appointment easier is more than worthwhile.
What are your tips to get your child through a dentist appointment unscathed?