How to ease your child's anxiety about going to the dentist

February 19, 2016

It's no secret the dentist may be up there with your child's biggest fears. Between all of the poking and prodding, a simple check-up can feel uncomfortable. Here's a handy guide to ensure your child faces a dental exam with confidence.

How to ease your child's anxiety about going to the dentist

Stay calm

  • Hide your own dental fears. Your child will pick up on them if you don’t.
  • Perhaps have a partner or another family member, like an aunt, accompany the child.
  • Talk to your child about what the dentist will do and why. Keep the messaging positive and realistic. Hold their hand if you're able to.

Entertain them

  • A child-friendly dental office will have plenty of distractions for them in the waiting room and while they’re in the chair.
  • You too can distract them if necessary, with a favourite book or toy, perhaps. Answer all their questions if they are unable to focus on a book or toy.
  • A simple light and positive conversation should do the trick.

Prepare them physically

  • No child is at their best when he or she is tired. Make sure they are well rested, and they will handle the experience better.
  • Make sure they are hydrated, too. If they have a tendency to become queasy or gag, ensure they have a healthy and light lunch about an hour beforehand.

Rewards go a long way

  • Plan to do something fun after the dental appointment. Give your child something to look forward to.
  • It doesn't have to be an extravagant reward, just something that suggests they got through the appointment like a champ.

And there you have it: With these tips, your next trip to the dentist with your child should be a breeze.

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