When Your Child Fears the Dentist

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Nearly everyone experiences a bit of trauma when visiting a dentist, especially children.    Not many people actually look forward to dental treatments and most experience emotions ranging from anxiety to extreme fear.  Talk to your child about the upcoming visit to alleviate the child’s fears.  Also, if you help your child develop healthy oral habits from a young age, then he or she begins to extend a positive attitude toward the dentist.

Dr. William S. Neale, a Wichita Falls periodontist, offers some stress-relieving ideas that help your child enjoy dental treatments.  This information works well with adults, too.

Positive Messages

The way adults discuss dental visits and treatments affects children.  If an adult complains about a negative experience, then children generate negative reactions when they visit the dentist.  Convey positive messages in the presence of children.  Teach them that regular dental visits affect their overall health.

Early Checkups

The earlier your child visits the dentist, the better.  Early intervention allows dental visits and treatments to become a life-long routine.  When your child’s teeth start coming in, start visiting the dentist.  In this way, you provide the opportunity to build trust between your child and the dentist.

Playing Dentist

Positive role-play helps children associate a positive experience to a dental visit.  Children’s stories about dentists allow parents the opportunity to build a positive message about dental visits.

No Surprises

Never surprise your child with a trip to the dentist.  Inform your child well ahead of time to allow time to process and ask questions.  It also gives you time to discuss the appointment in a cool, calm, and collected way.

Honesty, the Best Policy

If you sugar-coat a visit to the dentist, then they learn not to trust you.  Occasionally the truth hurts, but honesty is still the best policy.  You may want to protect your child from the experience, but being truthful and calm instills confidence.

Explain the procedure to the best of your ability.  Organize child-safe research to help your child understand.  Communicate openly with your child about every dental visit.

Dental Tour

Find a dentist who knows how to work with children.  Ask him or her to meet with your child.  Find out if the support staff offers a tour of the office a few days before the appointment.  Meeting the dentist and staff gives your child familiar faces for that first appointment.

Trained and experienced in treating young children, Dr. Neale offers positive dental experiences.

Call Dr. Neale’s office at (940) 322-0758.