Going to the dentist does not need to be scary! Although, we understand why it can frighten children. Please continue reading to learn some gentle tips on helping a child overcome their fear of going to the dentist.
One of the best ways to help a child overcome their fear, whether it be of shots, the dentist, or even something minor like getting a haircut, is with a reward or positive feedback. Letting your child know that they did a great job by holding still or being brave can help lessen their fear. A reward can be helpful, although it is ultimately the parent’s choice. Some great options are something small like a sticker or something larger, like their favorite milkshake from the restaurant down the street. Or even getting your child excited about their new toothbrush and toothpaste from the dentist’s office and developing excitement around brushing at home can work, too! Whatever it be, all children are different and react to things differently. So it’s always important to embrace positivity and feedback, especially when your child does an outstanding job.
READ THEM A BOOK
Reading is a great way to soothe your child the night before the dentist. There are a lot of great children’s books out there specifically for fear of the dentist. Some of our favorite books we recommend reading to your children are:
- The Night Before the Dentist
- Where the Sugar Bugs Live
- The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist
- Elmo Visits the Dentist
- Show Me Your Smile!
- Just Going to the Dentist
There are a lot of children’s dental-related books on the market, but we’re almost sure if your child reads about one of their favorite characters having a great time at the dentist, they may be less worried about their visit too.
PRACTICE AT HOME
This one is fun! Practicing at home is a great way to lessen your child’s fear of the dentist. Gather up some toys, or even a play dentist set (if your child has one), and set up a “dentist” office in your bathroom. Let your child practice on the toys, and then ask them to do the same to their teeth! Not only is this a fun game, but it can also help them overcome the fear.
BRING THEM TO YOUR APPOINTMENTS
As parents, it’s our job to be the best role models for our children. Showing them that you are not afraid of the dentist can aid in helping them get over their fears. We encourage you to bring along your child to your dental checkup appointment so that they can watch by example. By remaining calm and relaxed, thanks to our kind staff and spa-like amenities, your child will recognize that the dentist isn’t so bad after all and that it isn’t painful either!
BE PATIENT AND PREPARE FOR SOME CHAOS
No matter the lengths you may go through to make your child feel safe and comfortable at the dentist, it may not always work right away. You may become frustrated after all of your effort to make the appointment go smoothly, but it’s important to remember not to become frustrated with your child as it will make them more upset. As dentists, we understand the fear a small child may have about strangers maneuvering in their mouths, and we will work with your child to make them as comfortable and trusting as possible.
LET YOUR CHILD CONQUER THEIR FEAR OF GOING TO THE DENTIST AT THE LANDING DENTAL SPA
Being moms ourselves, we know what it’s like to have a child fear something. That’s why we designed our office to resemble a spa-like atmosphere that any child or adult would love to help our patients feel as calm as possible while being treated. While waiting for your appointment, unwind in the waiting room by the fireplace. We also offer various complimentary amenities, which will help your appointment be a more enjoyable experience.
These amenities include:
- WiFi internet service
- Dental chairs with heat and massage
- Personal flat-screen TVs
- Soothing spa music
- Warm cloths to freshen up
- Heated neck-pillows
- Warm blankets
Most importantly, our dentists and staff are here to help with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your appointment. So if your child feels anxious, do not be afraid to talk with us about it! Our goal is to give your child a healthy smile and make your dental experience as relaxing and comfortable as possible.
If you would like to make an appointment with us, please call us at 304-594-2200 or use our online contact form. We look forward to seeing you soon!