How to reassure a child before going to the dentist
Dear readers, welcome to our article on pediatric dentistry and fear of the dentist. You’ll find useful information about fear of the dentist, but please note that our article is no substitute for a consultation with one of our dentists in Geneva! During a consultation, we’ll take the time to answer all your questions! If your questions are not answered in this article, you can get further information in a consultation at the Rhône dental clinic in Geneva!
When a child goes to the dentist, it’s normal to worry about what’s going to happen. He may have heard stories from friends or family members who have had bad experiences with the dentist. He may also be afraid because he doesn’t know what’s going to happen during the appointment. The dental clinic is not a place most of us look forward to going to. But if you have a young child, this visit can be much more stressful than it needs to be. To ease the pressure, here are a few tips to prepare your child for his or her first visit to the dentist:
2 things to keep in mind when taking your child to the dentist
- Take your child to the dentist at a time that’s convenient and stress-free for you, because your child will feel it and be stressed too.
- Don’t take your child to the dentist when he or she is ill, unless he or she needs emergency treatment (such as pain).
How can you prepare your child for his first visit to the dentist?
Be patient with your child, but don’t let him lose control (for example, don’t let him run around). Make sure your child is comfortable. You can do this by bringing along a favorite toy or book, a blanket or a pillow. You trust the Rhône Dental Clinic and its children’s dentists, but your child can only integrate this if you take the time to explain it to him. When he hears phrases like: “Mommy trusts your dentist”, he’ll already be better prepared.
Let your child know what to expect during the visit.
Dental procedures don’t have to be frightening for children, as long as they’re well informed beforehand and parents are calm, confident and supportive throughout. At Rhône Dental Kids we have developed a specific and reassuring protocol! To prepare things on your side, let your child know in advance what’s going to happen, so he won’t be surprised when it does.
Things to avoid when talking to your children about going to the dentist
- Don’t use scary words or phrases to describe the dentist’s office.
- Don’t make negative comparisons between your child’s experience at the dentist and his or her previous experiences of pain. For example, don’t say something like “the dentist will help you not feel as much pain as when you hurt your arm”.
- Don’t use words like medicine or drill when talking about dental procedures; instead, emphasize the positive aspects of what happens at the dentist (for example, “you’ll have beautiful teeth thanks to your dentist”).
What to do if your child is already nervous about his or her appointment?
If your child is already nervous about his dental appointment, here are a few ways to reassure him:
- Be patient. Don’t rush or force things. From the moment you are admitted, the Rhône Dental Kids dentist will apply our reassuring procedures, so don’t worry about what other people think of your child’s behavior in the waiting room.
- Don’t make a big deal out of it, and don’t compare your child to other children who seem less frightened than yours!
- Keep these tips in mind when taking your child to the dentist, and you’ll reduce stress levels for everyone.
- Reassure your child that the dentist is not scary.
- Explain to your child how the visit will go: “We’re going to go into this room, where there will be a chair with a big light above it”.