DO You Know How To Convince A Child To Visit A Dentist? In order for the teeth to be not only beautiful but also healthy, it is necessary to take care of them from early childhood. However, oral hygiene alone is not enough to prevent the development of various problems such as cavities or plaque. At least once every six months, the baby should be taken to the dental office for an examination and preventive procedures. But how can this be done if he is terrified of panic at the mention of doctors and clinics? In the article, we tell you what to do, how to teach a child not to be afraid of the dentist and make him treat his teeth, share useful life hacks, and how to ensure the right psychological attitude. How to Help Your Child Overcome Fear of the Dentist
Where does fear come from
Dentophobia – this is the name of the fear of treatment at the dentist. In its presence, a person seeks the help of a specialist only in extreme cases, when there is no longer any possibility to endure pain. Children also suffer from it. At a young age, fear, as a rule, is caused by already-acquired negative experiences. At the same time, not the dentists themselves who can scare the baby, but “white coats” in general. If this phobia is not defeated in childhood, it will pass into adulthood, and then it will be almost impossible to get rid of it.
If you do not know how to get a child to go to the dentist, and he refuses to treat his teeth, first of all, you need to find out the reason for what is happening. Most often, fear arises for the following reasons:
- The baby sees a doctor for the first time or experiences severe pain;
- There are character traits – suspiciousness, shyness, indecision;
- Earlier, the baby was already forcibly kept in the dental chair for some procedures, and a negative experience was fixed in his head;
- The parent could not explain why it is important to go to the dentist, and why all these manipulations are needed.
Note that young children almost always react negatively to the examination of the oral cavity. It seems something unnatural, and therefore it is perceived as hostile. The general goal of parents is to convince the baby that there is nothing wrong with what is happening. On the contrary, it will help him to be healthy and beautiful.
In addition, it is important to deal with the fear of “white coats”. The kid should not be afraid of doctors, because in any case, he will have to contact them. Not necessary for treatment – preventive examinations in kindergarten and school have not been canceled.
Fear is not born in a vacuum. Every phobia has an underlying cause. And, no matter how bitter it is to realize this, it is often the parents who become the creators of fears. Remember, even an accidentally dropped word can make a tremendous impression on a child, and have an impact on his life.
Below we analyze the most common mistakes that inexperienced moms and dads make:
- Going to the dentist already in the presence of problems. Of course, in this state (when the toothaches hurt), it will be extremely problematic for the baby to trust a stranger. That is why you need to take him to scheduled examinations – for adaptation.
- Lack of motivation to be treated. From an early age, it is important to form positive health-saving attitudes. If developed in childhood, they will remain forever and help a person adhere to the principles of a healthy lifestyle.
- Use of violence. Never force your child to do anything. There is always a need for high-quality dialogue and a search for compromises.
- Well, it’s a good time to visit. All visits to the hospital should be arranged at a convenient time for the visitor.
And, most importantly, deceit. Do not deceive about the absolute painlessness of the procedure, if you know in advance that this is not the case.
Above, we have already partially touched on the importance of initial experience, now let’s talk about it in more detail. It is on how the session will go that the subsequent attitude of the baby to the dentist, and dental treatment in general, depends.
What is important? Absence of coercion. Don’t force your love on the dental office. Usually, such actions cause only negative reactions.
The most effective is a personal example. When you yourself are not afraid of the dental ones, you understand the significance of all the procedures performed, and the baby will absorb your moods and will not worry.
In addition, so that the child is not afraid, it is good to go to the pediatric dentist. Those dentists who work with adults often lack the tact and sensitivity required at a young age.
For convenience, we attach a detailed scenario of how the first visit should go:
- Acquaintance. The doctor cannot immediately begin with treatment or perform some complex manipulations. His task is to position the patient to himself.
- Gloves. Wearing them is not recommended, as is the use of intimidating tools and devices. The best option is when a small tour of the office is organized with a story about what is needed and why.
- Dialogue. All actions must be accompanied by explanations. The unknown scares the baby.
- Leisure. In some clinics for young patients, cartoons are turned on or toys are taken out. This is a good solution to shift the focus of attention.
Note that we are talking about a scheduled preventive examination.
What to do when a child is very afraid and does not want to treat his teeth: how to persuade him to go to the dentist
Some modern methods, developed in collaboration with psychologists, involve exciting adventures, others – a preliminary study of possible problems. Below we talk about the most successful and popular practices that are easy to adapt to Russian reality.
This is a unique tool for learning about the world around us, especially in childhood. Even the most unremarkable and nasty things seem more attractive and interesting if they are presented in a positive game way. Turning a standard trip to dentistry into a real adventure is an art. However, if you don’t want your little one to develop a dental phobia, this is exactly what you should do.
Below are the most successful entertainment scenarios:
- Offer to treat your teeth with your favorite toy. The child will be so interested in the process that he will want to check the status of his own.
- Role-playing game. Something from the category of “mother-daughter”, only “doctor-patient”.
- First, the parent will act as a dentist – just to explain and tell how everything works. And then the baby will try on this image. Such tricks help dispel fears before visiting the office.
- The Tale of the Good Doctor Aibolit. Before the visit, you can review the old cartoon.
Of course, this is not a complete list of all games. You are free to invent and offer your own. The main thing is to create a comfortable psychological environment.
Reward and promotion
In the same way that bad behavior in the dental clinic should be stopped, good behavior is encouraged. It is best to give the gift to the doctor so that he, in turn, gives it to the baby. Such a simple manipulation will allow you to win the favor of a small patient.
However, gifts should not be turned into a management tool. During each visit, the child joins the culture of health care and takes a more responsible attitude toward the state of the oral cavity.
Cartoons during treatment
Watching your favorite cartoon during your visit will help you take your mind off what the doctor is doing and focus on something more pleasant. This technique is actively practiced by dentists at Dentik Kids.
Of course, cartoons, games, and gifts are all very good. But remember, nothing works better than a good personal example. If you yourself literally faint at the mere mention of the need to go to the dentist, it is unlikely that you will be able to develop a love for this specialist in your children. That is why, before engaging in their education, it is important to work out your own fears and phobias.
If, on the contrary, you understand the importance of dental treatment and endure any procedures, then it would be a good idea to go to a session with your baby. There he will see your positive attitude and quickly be recharged with the right mood.
What to do if the tooth already hurts
It’s easy to talk about preventive procedures and routine checkups. The child is not in danger, he does not experience acute pain, and he can resist going to the dentist’s office only for some personal reasons. In such situations, you have enough time and resources to change your mind, dispel fears, and help tune in the right way. But what about when the tooth is already whining? Pain and discomfort are not exactly what allow you to instill a love for dentistry.
If the child is afraid to drill his teeth, how to take him to the dentist? If there is no time for persuasion, try to talk to him like an adult. Explain everything that is happening, tell him why he is uncomfortable, and then offer a solution. Imagine a dentist in some kind of fairy-tale light, give him the role of a magician who will make sure that it doesn’t hurt anymore.
To deceive the baby that everything will go very smoothly and painlessly is not worth it. Faced with a lie once, he may gradually begin to treat your words with more caution, and in some cases, lose confidence.
Thus, the key to solving the problem is confidential negotiations and discussions without secrets and embellishments.
How not to be afraid of the dentist for children 10 years and older
If it is still possible to agree on something with a baby, then it is much more difficult to do this with a teenager. Age plays a huge role – it is not easy and is a turning point, it makes you distrustful of adults, often enter into conflict clashes with them. Your main task as a parent is to establish a warm relationship with your own child. It is necessary to explain: his choice is respected and taken into account. Further, having formed a favorable psychological environment, you can arrange for the child to visit the dentist’s office.
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However, everything is not so simple here either. Sometimes fear is caused by unpleasant experiences in early childhood. Here one conversation is unlikely to get by. How then to be? Let’s analyze a few tips from dentists on what to do if a child is terrified of going to the dentist:
- Discuss all procedures to be done. The unknown is often scarier. A detailed discussion of all manipulations helps to dispel some of the fears.
- If the teenager refuses to visit and the situation is not an emergency, do not insist on treatment. Maybe he just needs a little time to gather his thoughts and make up his mind.
- Form positive self-preservation attitudes, and motivation for regular and timely dental examinations. Try to instill a love for beautiful snow-white teeth, even a smile, and fresh breath. When all this is of value to the child, he will want to take care of his oral health.
- Don’t refuse support. By law, the parent has the right to be in the office at the time of the procedure. Don’t neglect them. In your society, a teenager will feel secure, and, therefore, everything will go more smoothly.
Well, and, of course, it is impossible not to mention the role of a specialist. He must have a fairly rich practical experience in order to be able to win over a young patient, to win his trust.
Tips on how to persuade a child to go to the dentist and get his teeth cleaned
In conclusion, we briefly summarize all of the above, and formulate the main recommendations for parents:
- If possible, plan to go to the dentist in the morning. If the visit is scheduled for a later time, the baby can “wind up” himself, become capricious, and become nervous, and whiny.
- Do not escalate the situation before going to the dentist. Even if there are some minor problems and troubles, try to ignore them in order to minimize psychological discomfort. If the child is upset, this will only aggravate his condition at the time of the procedure.
- Discuss what manipulations will be performed in the dental office. And then try to switch the attention of the crumbs to some abstract topics. This will allow you to wait for the reception without panic and unnecessary nerves.
- Responsibly approach the choice of clinic and specialist. It is best if this is a person who works directly with children.
- Do not be nervous. Yes, do not forget that a lot also depends on the psychological state of the parent. If you are turned on and turned on, the child will feel it and quickly move into the same phase.
- At the end of the procedure, be sure to praise the baby, and somehow encourage him. This will provide a good foundation for the future. If positive memories remain in your memory, it will be easier to decide on the next trip to a specialist. If the baby is overwhelmed with emotions, let him talk and talk about everything.
- Visit the dentist’s office regularly. It is recommended to do this at least twice a year. Why such periodicity? First, it allows you to identify and eliminate existing problems in a timely manner. And, secondly, it helps the baby to adapt, gets used to it.
- Do not discuss your own dental care in front of your child. Especially if your experience was negative.
- Do not intimidate a small patient with a doctor. A visit to the dentist does not have to be intimidating.
Summing up on How To Convince A Child To Visit A Dentist:
We can conclude that psychological attitude is of great importance. Often, parents use doctors (including dentists) as a tool of intimidation – “If you don’t obey, I’ll take you to the doctor!”. This is a fundamentally wrong position, which entails a lot of various problems and difficulties. So that your baby does not panic from one type of white coat, you need to speak out and work out all possible situations with him. As a parent, you must explain why it is important to treat your teeth and the dangers of not getting the right treatment. But this should be done gently and delicately, in no case should you press. We hope that our article on how to make a child not be afraid of the dentist helped to find answers to all questions of interest, and turned out to be useful!