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Dental Phobia In Kids

For every age a child goes through, and in every phase of development, there is a perfectly good reason to be afraid of the dentist. After all, we do have to be conditioned to think that specialist doctors rooting around in our bodies is an acceptable thing. Children have no such specialization, but are very peculiar and keen on their bodies. Here are a few constructive ways to deal with dental phobia in children, with a few helpful tips and general guidelines, a few dos and don’ts, basically. 

Legitimize

When your child is afraid of anything, including the dentist, do not dismiss it. Dismissing feelings will not help your kid to deal with the feelings they are feeling. Because the feelings are not dealt with, the fear persists, even if it not shown. This fear will make the kids experience much worse, and will teach them to fear the dentist and hate them, which will result in more carries, more missed appointments, and more dental problems in the future. Talk to your kid, tell them that it is perfectly normal to be afraid, and explain why they do not need to be afraid. Kids will frequently be able to understand rationally that there is no need to fear, and yets till instinctively be afraid. Tell them that this is okay, so that they can process their fear for themselves when they feel it, and if they know that you are there and supporting them, they will go through the fear and come out of the situation smarter, less afraid, and with a healthy experience at the dentist. 

Listen

Ask your kids why they are afraid of the dentist, and listen to them when they tell you. It may be something common, like being afraid of the noises that are made, or being afraid of the pain that may be felt during dental procedures. Explain to them why these things happen and prepare them for the inevitable. Many times though, the kid will be afraid because of something that another kid has told them that is actually untrue, or of something that they imagine is the case. These can be easily cleared up by explaining the reality of the situation, and thus dissipating unrealistic fears. 

Support

Be there for your kid. Hold his or her hand if necessary, let them know that you are there and are willing to listen to their whining and their fears, and this will make the situation more bearable. With the support of a parent, any obstacle will seem smaller and easier to deal with. The child will not feel alone against their fears, and will not feel abandoned, adding to the already tense and anxious situation.

The right dentist

The other thing that is very important besides how you act is how the dentist acts. You should pick a dentist who has experience dealing with pediatric dentistry, and who has a love for children. Without this, all of your hard work may be for nought. A dentist who is willing to communicate with the kids, who is willing to explain to them what needs to be done and what s/he is going to do exactly is the kind of dentist you should be looking for. A grouchy dentist, or one who does not take the feelings of the kids into consideration may still be perfectly good at his/her craft, but the encounter is going to be unpleasant, if not downright traumatic, and will teach your kids to hate going to the dentist.