child at dentist office

For a kid, going to the dentist is one of their biggest fears. And for some adults, it still is.

The fear of going to the dentist originated from the scary portrayal of the dentist’s office in movies and cartoons.  Movies painted an image of a torture chamber in the minds of kids and caused them to believe that that’s what the dentist was actually like.

Even though dentistry has drastically improved throughout the years, it’s still crucial that parents help their children overcome this fear.

Many parents struggle with getting their kids to go to the dentist’s office, but parents can help their children get over their fear and even enjoy their time at the dentist with the right steps.

Starting Early at the Dentist’s Office

child at dentist officeIntroducing your child to the dentist at a young age will help make the experience less intimidating.

As the child gets older, they’ll feel less frightened because they’ve become more familiar with their dentist.

Infants can also start to have their teeth brushed with toddler toothbrushes, which makes them accustomed to the feeling of having objects prodding around in their mouth.

Perform a Practice Run of Going to the Dentist

The best way to make a toddler more comfortable with doing something is if they have already done something like it before.

Make this experience like a game, and take turns pretending to be the dentist and patient with your child.

child at dentist officeWhen it’s your turn to be the dentist, start by being friendly and enthusiastic. Ask them to relax in a chair as if they were at the dentist’s office and lightly prod around their mouth with either a clean toothbrush or a small spoon.

Be sure to compliment your child’s hygiene and remind them to brush their teeth.

Another way to familiarize them with the process is by taking them to the office and having them meet the dentist and staff. If you are coming to our office for an appointment, bringing your son or daughter is a great way for them to get to know us and to feel comfortable in the new surroundings. (please note, during COVID this may not be possible)

They will be more comfortable when their actual dental appointment rolls around since they have already been accustomed to the dentist’s office.

Avoid Negative Language About Dentistry

Kids naturally have a lot of questions about everything.

So when the time comes to visit the dentist’s office, it’s expected that children will ask you loads of questions on what’s going to happen.

girl brushing teethWhen this occurs, do your best to avoid negative words like “pain,” “hurt,” and “needles.” Instead, use positive words like “clean” and “healthy” to describe what’s going to happen.

In these cases, it’s best for the dentist to answer any questions your child has since they’re well trained to handle kids’ questions, concerns and expectations

Be Present at the Dental Appointment

For many kids, being separated from their parents can cause them anxiety and sometimes fear.

Make sure that the dentist allows you to stay in the room while they perform their checkup.

Having the parent present in the room will give the child a sense of safety and confidence, which is key in making them feel comfortable at their visit.

A Family-Focused Practice In Downtown Ottawa

Taking your child to the dentist regularly is essential in maintaining healthy teeth and good oral hygiene.

Using these steps will help your child overcome their fear and anxiety of the dentist and make it an enjoyable experience

At Pretoria Bridge Dental, we work hard to provide our patients with a warm, caring environment that makes them feel welcome.

Your Downtown Ottawa family dentist is guaranteed to leave your child with healthy teeth and a smile on their face.

To find out more about our family-focused dentistry in Downtown Ottawa, contact us today.