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4 Tips to Help Your Child Get Over Their Fear of Going to the Dentist

When your child hears you say “it is time to go to the dentist” do they cry or refuse to go? If so, you are not alone. Unfortunately, many kids and adults are terrified of going to the dentist. Despite the fear, it is essential that your child have regular dental care to keep their teeth healthy. Avoiding the trip to the dentist office will only make things worse in the long run.

Fortunately, parents play a vital role in making sure that a child’s experience at the dental office is a good one. Here are four strategies from Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry Nobleville that you can use to help calm your little one.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene at Home

As soon as your child gets their baby teeth, begin brushing them. Brushing their teeth will help kids get used to having dental care. It also helps ensure good oral hygiene, which will reduce the likelihood of dental cavities and the need for invasive treatments. It will also help when it comes time for orthodontic timing.

Show Them That There is Nothing to Be Afraid Of

Many adults are afraid of going to the dentist. When your child hears you talk about how much you hate going to the dentist, they will experience reluctance when it is their turn. Be aware of your words, behaviors, and emotions when talking about going to the dentist. Don’t talk negatively about the experience. Instead, focus on the positive aspects of visiting the dentist.

Visit a Pediatric Dentist

A Noblesville pediatric dentist is the way to go when it comes to children’s dental care. They specialize in children’s dental care, utilize smaller, child-size tools and have a fun, child-friendly environment. Also, pediatric dentists are used to providing care to kids and know how to help them avoid having a meltdown.

Don’t Offer Bribes—Instead, Use Positive Reinforcement

Many parents get positive reinforcement and bribes confused. Providing positive reinforcement is a great way to encourage positive behaviors, such as going to the dentist. Positive reinforcement involves using praise or encouragement to help your child cope with their anxiety. For instance, you might say “I noticed that you did a fantastic job of listening to the dentist today” immediately after the appointment. Bribing, on the other hand, involves giving your child something before the behavior occurs. Saying to your little one “I will get you an ice cream cone if you go to the dentist today” is bribing. Bribery is not helpful and can lead your child to expect bribes when they do something that is expected of them. Instead, you can offer positive reinforcement even in the form of ice cream—but only after the behavior occurs. So, as an example, after they go to the dentist, you might say “since you did so well today, let’s get an ice cream cone.” Offering positive reinforcement will help them feel good about their behavior.

For more tips on pediatric dental care in Noblesville, IN visit the office of Dr. Sam Bullard. Dr. Bullard is dedicated to providing gentle pediatric dentistry to all patients.