Children are naturally fearful of new situations, and people they do not understand. Many children develop fear and anxiety over visiting the dentist, a provider they only see twice a year. With lots of scary-looking gadgets and an oddly-shaped chair, visiting the dentist may not be on your children’s favorite list. But, we know your children’s dental health in Lancaster, PA, is essential, so we wanted to provide you with some additional techniques to help your children overcome their fear of the dentist.
Previously, we provided you with a few ideas to help ease your child’s dental phobia. Dr. Kolsun and the staff at Hempfield Family Dental Care want to help you make your children’s visit to the dentist as stress-free as possible. Our prior tips included: starting your children’s dental visits at age three, using a board-certified pediatric dentist for children with emotional or physical disabilities, being a strong role model, using positive reinforcement, and bringing your child to the office for your exam and cleaning before his or her appointment.
Maintain Consistent Appointments
Another way to create a positive dental experience for your children is by keeping their routine cleaning every six months. Not only will this help your child receive the dental care they need for strong and healthy teeth, but it also helps them remember their previous positive experience. If children are only visiting the dentist once a year or less, they may fear the dentist will find problems that need to be addressed with more painful procedures.
Maintaining your children’s dental health in Lancaster, PA, is important, so remember to set up and keep six-month routine cleanings to ease their dental phobia. Dr. Kolsun and his staff at Hempfield Family Dental Care are ready to help you make an appointment today.
Tell Your Child About Their Appointment
Once you make your appointment for your children’s routine cleaning, be sure to tell them about it. Please do not keep the appointment a secret from them until the day they have to visit the dentist. Telling your children ahead of time allows them time to mentally prepare for the visit. Allow them to ask questions about what happens and remind them of their previous positive experience at the dentist with the Magic Squirt Gun and Mr. Thirsty (suction).
To keep your child excited about their dental visit, one fun thing to do is a countdown to the appointment. Like a Christmas advent calendar, you could create a fun activity to do every day, make a paper chain and tear off one link a day, or any other way to build excitement towards their dental visit. Colgate has some sugar-free Christmas advent calendar ideas that you could quickly adapt to a routine dental cleaning visit to help your children not be afraid of the dentist.
Employ Relaxation Techniques
As you get closer to your children’s visit with the dentist, and especially the day of the appointment, your child may still have fear about the appointment. One helpful way to ease your child’s anxiety is to teach them relaxation techniques. Some ideas you can use are:
- Deep breathing exercises – Taking deep breaths and slowly counting to 10 calms the butterflies in you and your children’s stomachs.
- Meditation – Meditation can be a great way to relax. There are tons of guided meditations on YouTube, and even ones specifically for kids. Use these videos to help calm your child during their visit with the dentist.
- Visualization – The dentist’s office most likely is not your child’s happy place. When they need to escape from a situation that makes them fearful, teach your child to visualize their happy place instead. Maybe their happy place is visiting grandma and grandpa, the playground, or the zoo. Teach your child how to visualize these places when the fear gets to be too much.
Avoid Negative Words
Your children’s dental health in Lancaster, PA, is essential to you, your child, Dr. Kolsun, and his staff. One way you can help pediatric dental phobia is to avoid negative words when talking about the dentist. Explain to your child what to expect at the dentist, but avoid words like pain, hurt, and drill. These words have a negative connotation and can cause your children to become fearful of their appointment.
Your Children’s Dental Health in Lancaster, PA
When you have a trusted dentist, like Dr. Kolsun and his staff at Hempfield Family Dental, you can rest knowing that they are ready to help your fearful child have a positive dental experience. By maintaining routine cleaning, creating excitement for a visit ahead of time, teaching relaxation techniques, and avoiding negative words when talking about the dentist, you can help ease your children’s fear about the dentist. Contact the staff at Hempfield Family Dental to set your children’s appointment today!