Don’t Let Your Child Inherit Your Dentophobia
Does the idea of visiting the dentist fill you with fear? Do you put off making dental appointments because you can’t stand the thought of sitting in the chair? If so, you may be suffering from dentophobia, and if you are a parent, you could pass this phobia on to your children.
Routine dental checkups are important for everyone, but especially children. Oral health issues are often easily treatable if caught early, and having regular cleanings during childhood can prevent dental disease throughout adulthood! But if you are scared of the dentist, you might be keeping your kids from the dental care they need.
Here are some ways you can prevent dentophobia in your children:
- Start Young
The American Dental Association recommends that children visit the dentist within six months of getting their first tooth and no later than their first birthday. If you start your kids off young, they (and you!) can establish trust with their dentist and can set a good routine of regular dental visits, which will help prevent fear in the future.
- Keep it Simple
Kids are curious and they may ask questions before their dental visits. Avoid using scary sounding words such as ‘drill’ or ‘shot’ and do not tell them it won’t hurt, since oftentimes children don’t even think about pain being involved unless you mention it. Instead, use simple, non-threatening words to explain what will happen during the appointment, or try reading a children’s book about visiting the dentist.
- Stay Positive
If your child does exhibit fear about the dentist, tell them that even you find dentist visits scary sometimes, but that there really is nothing to worry about. Explain that all the dentist wants to do is check out their smile and count their teeth.
- Call Ahead
Before your child’s appointment, call our office and explain that your child may be a bit anxious about the visit. We’ll do what we can to help ease the anxiety!