Ways to Overcome Fear of the Dentist in Children

Some children love to visit the dentist, but this is not the case for many children. To date, we have met many children who experience fear of the dentist at different levels. For some children, even hearing the words dentist or examination is enough to get them stressed.

Your child’s oral health is of course very important, but forcing a frightened child into the dentist’s chair is even more important.

1. Read Stories About Dentists To Your Child

Reading stories about dentists to children is a very useful method. Due to the limited resources in Turkish as a book, you can access books of foreign origin, or you can watch the content beforehand and watch a cartoon suitable for your age. A story where the main character has a happy and enjoyable dental examination will also be good for your child.

2. Take your child for a dental checkup when they are as young as possible and their teeth are free of decay

Many dentists recommend that children have their first dental exam at the age of one. Meeting the dentist at an early age is very beneficial not only for oral health, but also for your child to get used to the dentist concept. In this way, your child will not feel alienated by getting used to this environment and will have the chance to develop a trusting relationship with the dentist.

3. Play “Dentistry” game at home

Before taking your child for a dental examination, it will be very helpful to rehearse the dental examination. By playing the role of a dental patient, you can have your child examine you like a dentist, and then you can change roles and examine your child as a dentist. In this way, you can give your child clues about what to expect at the examination. If he wishes, your child can also use a toy as a patient and examine it. You can simply create your decor at home with a chair, mirror and toothbrush.

4. Communicate simply

Telling your child about the dentist’s visit at the last minute increases stress and anxiety. If your child is afraid of the dentist, take ample time to prepare him psychologically before the visit. Before the date approaches, inform him and remind him several times about the date.

If your child has questions, be sure to answer them before going to the dentist. Do not use imprecise words such as “Everything will be fine” because if a treatment need arises or an application is made that he does not like, his trust in your words and in the dentist will be shaken.

Use positive sentences, such as “the dentist just wants to count your teeth and see if your teeth show when you smile”. You can try to make your visit to the dentist more appealing, especially by using words like “clean,” “healthy,” “strong.”

5. Prefer Pedodontists

Taking your child to a pedodontist (pediatric dentistry) will give you advantages. Pedodontists are experts in tiny teeth and milk teeth; They also know how to make kids feel good on the couch. Thus, the child can have a more enjoyable experience during the examination.

Small details matter; such as establishing a bond of communication and trust with the child beforehand, telling what will happen after sitting on the seat before sitting down, and indicating how to give feedback to the child by playing.

6. Teach your child the importance of oral health and set an example

Explaining to your child how important dental health and cleaning is and providing care will be an important health investment for him. Clarify what you need to do for healthy teeth, such as brushing twice a day, flossing, rinsing after eating something sweet or acidic, visiting the dentist regularly. Remind them that dentists are there to have strong teeth and beautiful smiles. . Most importantly, you should set an example for your child by brushing your teeth regularly and if you have a fear of the dentist, not reflecting this and beating yourself first. Remember, children consider what you do, not what you say.

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