There are a few places that many children do not look forward to going to. Whether it is the doctors or the dentist, it can be hard for parents when kids are either afraid or unwilling to go. This is why children’s doctors and dentists work hard to combat the fear that many kids have. By providing a comfortable waiting area and treatment area, we all aim to help kids overcome their fears and feel confident when they go to a medical appointment of any kind. As a parent, there are a few things you can do as well to help your kids feel comfortable.
Many kids fear their regular checkups because they are afraid of having cavities. Whether they have never had a single cavity or they have experienced a few fillings, this fear is very common. Aside from the fact that many kids are worried about the follow-up filling procedure, there is also a negative stigma about having a cavity. Many kids feel like it is their fault that they have a cavity and that the filling treatment is in a sense, a punishment, for not brushing and flossing. Whether or not your child could improve their home dental habits, cavities are sometimes unavoidable for children, and having a cavity doesn’t inherently mean your child isn’t taking care of their teeth. As dentists, we do not want children to associate cavities or gum disease with failure and therefore carry a fear of the dentist.
Another common tactic that some parents use is to lie to their children about upcoming dental appointments. Some parents go as far as not telling their kids they are going to a dentist until they are in the parking lot. This can spread distrust of both the dentist and you, and it sets a negative tone for your kids. Instead, you should be upfront with your kids about any upcoming dental appointments so your child has time to mentally prepare and they don’t feel like they were betrayed.
One positive method that many parents utilize is having a special tradition before or after dental visits. Some parents have a favorite restaurant for their kids to go to that is near the dentists’ office. Other parents let their kids take a day off from school before their dental appointment. Either way, it can help your child associate their dental appointments with a positive feeling. However, if you do decide to get a treat after their dental appointment, remember to let your child’s fluoride wear off before they eat or drink.
All Star Dental serves families throughout the Chicago area at our five offices. If your child needs a dental appointment, contact us to set one up. We would be happy to get your little one in our schedule.