The Dreaded Trip To Your Child’s Dentist

by | Mar 11, 2015

Do you remember when you were a child and had to go to the dentist? I still do. I hated going, but loved getting those stickers (and sometimes toys!) at the end. I was never afraid of the dentist; however, it was annoying that I had to leave my friends just to sit in a boring chair and have some stranger pick at my teeth. At least I found some consolation when my parents finally chose a regular family dentist. The person picking away at my teeth was no longer a stranger and I felt more comfortable around her. Sometimes the teeth cleaning hurt, and sometimes not, but I sat there as quietly as I could anyway and waited until it was over. Admittedly, I loved the feeling of clean teeth afterwards, but I would never tell my parents this because I thought that the “torture” and “pain” I had to endure would score me some brownie points. If you have children, particularly ones that are just starting to go to the dentist, you might be asking yourself what you can do to help overcome the dreaded trip to your children’s dentist. You might not be able to sway your children’s minds completely, especially if what they’re truly after are some brownie points, but we’re here to try and help! For starters, the earlier you can take your children to the dentist the better. This is not only good for their oral care, it might help them get used to the new setting quicker and you may even be able to skip their fear altogether. Ever wonder why kids never seem to be afraid of bugs or spiders and yet adults often grow terrified of them? If we show our kids early on that there is nothing to be afraid of then they might just believe us (the key word here is “might”). You may also want to tell your kids about the details, but leave it simple. Some details sound scarier than they actually are and can cause your children to panic. They might ask you more questions, as children often do, but try and keep it positive and to the point. Furthermore, telling them how important oral care is, and emphasizing the benefits, can potentially help your case. You could even come up with a game before going to your kids’ dentist: consider being the dentist and then switching rolls. As the dentist, you could hold a mirror up to their teeth so that they can see what is going on. Finally, finding a family dentist is also a good idea. Just as I was more comfortable around my family dentist, your children will likely be more comfortable around theirs. Going to the dentist does not need to be scary. Some children might take the visit easier than others, and you might never find that niche that stops your child’s fear; nevertheless, stay positive. Maybe some of that positivity will rub off on your kids!