Avoid the fear of the Dentist | Kids Toothbrush Club
So many of us have had negative dental experiences- that drilling sound gives me goose bumps. At Kids Toothbrush Club, we are here to educate and empower our kids for a more comfortable life with less stress and more comfort. Getting into healthy habitual routines prevents unpleasant dental visits. But it’s inevitable, dental visits are a must, and with that, we must spin a positive view on the dentist. It is the older generations that have the biggest issue with the dentist. As adults, we remember the childhood dental experience as scary. But today there are so many distractions that make visits pleasant and even comfortable such as, anesthetics, pillows and cushy chairs, and even iPods and movies to tune out that sound!
As parents, we aim to establish good habits, and one thing we cannot do is pass our fear on to them whether it be fear of the dentist, or clowns, or specific sounds (like a dentist drill). We must break that habit, which could also help our fear of the dentist. Don’t make comments such as, “If you don’t behave, I’ll take you to the dentist and it’ll hurt!” Instead, use positive reinforcement, such as stickers included in the Kids Toothbrush Club kit for a job well done, but make sure not to use excessive bribery because kids smell fear from a mile away, and they’ll sense the dental appointment as a problem. Once we teach them healthy habits, it’s more likely they’ll continue these dental habits for life. Using the dentist as punishment definitely puts a negative perception on the dental visit.
Prepare them for what occurs at the dentist. Play out a fun, mock dental visit with your patient’s (child’s) head in your lap while you brush, floss and inspect the teeth with a flashlight. Have another person next to you as a helper, so they can feel at ease when another person examines them. Reading a children’s book about the first dental visit is also very helpful. Avoid using scary words such as “drilling”, “needle”, “painful”, etc. If they ask questions, answer with a generic response, such as, “I’m not sure, Dr. Dental can answer that question for you.” Talk to your child about what to expect, and build excitement as well as understanding of what occurs at the appointment. For children under age three, a parent may need to sit in the dental chair and hold the child during the exam. As stated before, generate excitement for the appointment and make sure they know they are the center of attention. Try not to make appointments with other siblings, so that all the attention will be devoted to the child, and they feel special.
Dentists say that older generations have the phobia that they pass down. So let’s use these methods and radiate some positivity on our pearly whites. Every day is a new opportunity to start a good habit and appreciate our overall health. “Because every child deserves a healthy smile.”