Nearly 1 in 5 children between 9 and 12 years old have a fear of going to the dentist. Although many kids are afraid of the dentist, there are ways to help them overcome it.

If your child is afraid of going to the dentist, then it can be tough to know what to do about it. While it’s critical to take your child to the dentist to maintain their oral health, you might feel uneasy about pushing them into a situation that they have anxiety about.

Fortunately, we’re here to be your guide. Here’s how you can help your child get over their fear of going to an Elizabethtown pediatric dentist.

Why Are Children Afraid of the Dentist?

Children are afraid of going to the dentist for a variety of different reasons. 

One of the main reasons that children have a fear of the dentist is simply because they also have a fear of the unknown. If it’s been a while since your child has gone to the dentist, then they may not remember what their last visit was like and don’t have a good idea of what to expect from it.

On the other hand, some children are simply afraid of the powerlessness that comes from sitting in a dental chair and having someone working on the teeth inside of their mouth. 

Some children are also afraid of the pain that comes with going to the dentist. Getting a cavity filled or simply visiting a dentist for a cleaning can be uncomfortable for children.

No matter why your child is afraid of the dentist, there are ways to help them feel better and reduce their dental anxiety. It’s important to keep the potential causes of their fear in mind when preparing your child to go to an Elizabethtown kid’s dentist.  

How to Help Your Child Overcome Their Fear

So how can you help your child get over their fear of the dentist and the anxiety they feel about making their next visit? Here’s what you can do.

Start Going to the Dentist Early

One of the best ways to prevent your child from being scared of the dentist is to ensure that they have regular dental check-ups from a young age. 

If your child goes to a pediatric dentist in Elizabethtown consistently, they won’t be as scared when it’s time for a new visit. Additionally, having regular dental visits will also help them understand the importance of good dental care and oral hygiene.

A good rule of thumb is to have your child visit the dentist for the first time once their first tooth appears or on their first birthday. 

Pick a Great Dentist to Visit

The specific dentist you go to also plays a big role in how comfortable your child is during a checkup. You should be sure to work hard to find a dentist that you can rely on and that your child will be comfortable with.

Look for a fun pediatric dentist who’s good with children. Finding a good kid’s dentist in Elizabethtown, KY can make the dental experience much easier to bear. It may even help your child look forward to going to the dentist.

Prioritize Oral Health At Home

An appreciation for oral health and dental care starts at home. Make sure that you’re doing what you can to positively reinforce the benefits of good oral hygiene. Talk with your children regularly about taking care of their teeth.

Be sure that your child maintains good habits at home and that they understand why taking care of their teeth is so important. This will help them understand the importance of going to the dentist as well.

Lead By Example

One of the things that you can do to make your child more comfortable with the dentist is to go more often yourself. If they see that you go to the dentist regularly and take care of your teeth at home as well, they’re more likely to place value on going to the dentist. 

By going in for dental visits regularly, it will seem more routine to your child as well and they won’t see it as a big deal. They’ll be happy to follow in your footsteps and go to the dentist for their own visits as well. 

Use Dental Books and Videos

There are a lot of good books for kids out there that can help to make them more comfortable with the idea of going to the dentist. There are also plenty of videos on YouTube that explain dental visits to kids and can help them feel more at ease. 

You may want to make use of some of these materials in your home if you want to make your child feel more comfortable about going to the dentist.  

Let Your Child Know About a Visit in Advance

While some parents surprise their kids with a dental visit, it’s best to let them know well in advance. Blindsiding your child with a dental visit can heighten their anxiety and can cause a lot of frustration.

Be sure to set expectations and let them know about the dental visit early on. This will give them time to mentally prepare and start feeling more at ease with the idea of going to the dentist before the big day comes along. 

Visiting an Elizabethtown Pediatric Dentist

If your child is afraid to visit an Elizabethtown pediatric dentist, you should try using some of the tips and strategies above. Choosing the right dentist, emphasizing the importance of oral health, and setting a good example can help alleviate some of their fears.

Looking for Elizabethtown dentistry for children? Contact us today to set up your next appointment.