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Tips for Parents of Children Who Are Afraid of the Dentist

July 13th, 2016 by Smile Exchange

For thirty percent of children, going to the dentist is just as scary as a monster under the bed or a bowl of brussel sprouts. There are a number of reasons why they may be afraid of the dentist. They may think that the dentist will cause pain, they may not like the sounds that come from the drill, or they may just be scared because they know their parents are afraid of the dentist as well. Did you know that children with parents who are unafraid of the dentist are statistically less likely to report being afraid themselves?

So, as a parent, there are a number of ways you can help your child develop a positive outlook of the dentist. First and foremost, you should introduce your child to the dentist as early as possible. When your child develops his or her first tooth, a dentist appointment should be scheduled. In addition to that, you should always try to remain calm when you’re with your child on the ride to the dentist or in the waiting room. If your child senses stress, he or she might associate the dentist with negative emotions.

Should You Make an Appointment with a Pediatric Dentist?

One question you may have is whether or not you should schedule your child with a pediatric dentist? In most cases, the answer is probably yes. A good pediatric dentist has years of experience specifically taking care of children’s teeth. They understand how teeth grow and develop and can identify issues before they become major problems. In addition to that, they understand that some children may be afraid of the dentist and have experience alleviating those fears.

In addition to that, a pediatric dentist will usually have a more child-friendly office. A dentist can be the friendliest person, but most offices have “scary” equipment that could make a child feel uneasy. Because pediatric dentists only work with children, they may have certain elements to put those fears at ease. These elements could include toys, bright lights, and smaller child-friendly equipment.

If your child is new to the dentist, it could be somewhat scary the first time. Setting up an appointment with a pediatric dentist as early as possible should help a child develop a healthy outlook of the dentist and oral care as a whole.

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