“It won’t hurt.” How to help your child stop being afraid of dentists?
Fear of a dentist in an adult comes from childhood. I myself became a dentist because in my childhood I was very scared. I still remember what dress I was in when at three I had a very painful tooth extraction. I remember the face of a tired mother, the people who held me and the doctor’s words “calm your child, he’s behaving inappropriately.” But since then, much has changed in pediatric dentistry, as has the approach to children’s fears.
Where does the fear of dentists come from?
I still remember those huge tools at the dentist. Then no one tried to find an approach to me. Yes, I then screamed a lot, pulled out, and my mother was angry from fatigue and the lack of opportunities to help me. In my city there was no pediatric specialist, and now he is not there either, as well as the ability to treat teeth in a dream.
When the fear gradually waned, I began to go to the doctor on the recommendations myself, and then decided that I wanted to become a dentist. Then I read on one of the forums that what people are up to 3 years old do not remember. Therefore, you can hold the child and heal – he will forget. But I remember!
Fears lead to the fact that we ourselves do not go to the dentist, or only when absolutely necessary, when it is already very painful. This can lead to the fact that adults themselves do not lead the child to the doctor, because they are afraid of the pain that they once suffered. Such negligence sometimes leads to the fact that a three-year-old child has to treat 20 of the 20 existing teeth, and even worse, to remove some.
You need to understand that in our time in dentistry a lot has changed, including the approach to children. Because of their fears, parents lead the child to the doctor only when the baby has a toothache. And for children, this is not the best acquaintance with a dentist. The child is already tortured, not sleeping for several nights in pain. And then he comes to the doctor and sees all these frightening unfamiliar tools. The child is so scared that it’s impossible to manage with anesthesia alone. Often it is necessary to urgently treat under anesthesia.
Another cause of childhood fear for dentists is the words of their parents. Some adults who themselves are not afraid of dentists scare their children as a joke. They tell them that “there will be an evil uncle”, “he will drill your tooth” or “it will hurt, but you have to endure”. This in advance adds up to a misconception about treatment in a child.
What to do when the child is afraid of the dentist?
Very often, the baby is afraid of the doctor, even when he has never been with him. It was just frightened by other doctors in advance. Many children after ENT are afraid of the dentist, and they don’t care if they look at their teeth or throat.
In such cases, adaptation methods help children up to 3-4 years old. This is the name of visits when a child comes to the dentist for the first time and just plays and talks with him. This time the kid may not even be put in the examination chair. They will just show him all the tools, tell about them and, maybe, brush their teeth with their favorite toy, with which he came to the reception.
Sometimes one technique for complete peace of mind is not enough, especially when the child is already scared. You should go to the adaptation technique several times and repeat them at home. The parent must be involved in adapting the child to treatment.
After 2-3 receptions, it will be clear to the children whether the child will admit a doctor. However, if the patient has problems that need to be addressed without delay, then you have to treat him in a dream, and then start to adapt.
I am very happy that my little patients are looking forward to our meeting. They record voice messages to me, write and even confess their love. I am glad that they do not experience hysteria only from the thought that they are coming to me. What for? They go to Dasha, and she is waiting for them.