A visit to the dentist can be terrifying and overwhelming for children in many ways, whether it’s the strange environment, the unfamiliar faces, the tools, or the fear of pain. Kids are perceptive and often pick up on their parents’ anxiety too.

However, since regular checkups are necessary, and kids may require various procedures such as fillings, you need to help them get past their fear. Make their next dental care visit in Westlake more fun in the following ways:

1. Introduce the idea of the dentist early on

Introduce them to the idea of the dentist when they’re young. If there’s an impending appointment, you can talk to them about the upcoming adventure and help them prepare for it. If they’re older, they might know what to expect; if not, talk to them about what will happen, how the dentist will use painless, easy methods, and why it’s important. Encourage curiosity, let them ask questions, answer their queries, and address their concerns instead of using fear to make them stop. This will only add to the anxiety.

 A child gets treated in a dental chair, calmly smiling.

2. Use positive language, stories, and images

The language we use is imperative to the relationship kids build with dentists. Using positive, affirmative language and images and telling stories can make the experience of visiting a dentist in Westlake, OH,  a lot more fun and exciting. You can talk to them about the tooth fairy, share funny anecdotes, play games, and develop secret codes they can use. These are helpful both before the appointment, on the drive there, in the waiting room, and even during their checkup or treatment.

3. Incentivize them with meaningful rewards

Incentives and rewards are always a plus for making dentist visits less scary. However, it’s also important that we use positive reinforcement intelligently rather than dangerously, which is why you should use educational, meaningful rewards such as a trip to the zoo or a fun new toy rather than candies and treats. Using food, especially junk, as an incentive to visit the dentist is not only counterintuitive to dental hygiene, but it also impacts their relationship with food in the long run.

If you’re looking for an excellent, experienced children’s dentistry service in Westlake, OH, reach out to Dr. Below. He offers general dentist services in Westlake, Ohio, as well as cosmetic and emergency dental care in Westlake, and is one of the leading dental implant specialists in the region.