“When my son was very young – I think he was four or five – my Father-in-Law terrified him by taking his dentures out where Gavin could see them. He told Gavin that the dentist had pulled all his teeth, and that it was very important that Gavin brush every day or the same thing would happen to him,” Lisa sighed. “I understand he was trying to give my son a valuable lesson, but what he did was ensure my son was absolutely terrified of the dentist. I didn’t realize how terrified he was for years, when he was a young teenager. Seeing my son trying to tough it out through the pain of a cavity made me realize how important it was to find a dentist who was understanding and kind.”
There are steps you can take as a parent to help your child cope with the anxiety of seeing the dentist. The first is to listen to your child and take their concerns seriously. “Gavin obviously knew that the dentist wasn’t going to pull all his teeth out and give him dentures just because he had a cavity, but still, it helped him calm down to hear me say it directly,” Lisa said. “We went over what he could expect from the visit, including what’s involved in having a cavity filled or a tooth extracted.” If you’re not sure what your child will experience during their visit to the dentist, call your Quincy dentist and ask them to explain it to you. This information will help your child form a realistic set of expectations of their experience.
Your child’s dentist in Quincy, MA can be an active partner in alleviating any anxiety or discomfort your child is experiencing. By bringing your child’s anxiety to the dentist’s attention ahead of time, the dentist will know to focus on creating a relaxed, calm atmosphere. It also helps to choose a family dentist who’s experienced and expert at working with children. Being proactive and matter of fact about the need for high quality dental care and how good they’ll feel after their toothache is gone will also help. Children often draw their own attitude about dental care from our own; if you model calm acceptance of the need for dental care, it will be easier for your child to do the same.