DENTAL DILEMMAS – Dr Richard Ho from Synergy Dental Clinics helps with advice on dental problems
Q. How can I help my children stop being so scared of visiting the dentist?
A. Fear is an emotion we all feel in our lives from time to time. By definition, fear is something that is caused when we feel danger, threat or harm. When your child is apprehensive or scared of going to the dentist, it does not always mean that they are scared of the dentist in particular.
The majority of times, it has to do with the myths that children are told as well as a genuine fear of the unknown. It could also be that they know their teeth may need some treatment, or they have genuinely had a negative experience and feel scared to go back to the dentist.
Either way, there are some methods you can try to ensure that they gradually begin to beat their fears. You should try to introduce your child to the habit of visiting a dentist as early as the age of one or when their first tooth comes through. The earlier they are able to identify with the routine of visiting a dentist, the more they will become subconsciously accustomed to it.
Try not to be too vivid when describing what going to the dentist may entail. Dentists usually like to introduce their own terminology when explaining aspects of dental treatment and care to children. It is absolutely normal for young children to whinge and whine when they don’t want to take part in something.
The best thing to do is stay calm and let the dentists work their magic!