Burlington ON caregivers’ questions, answered: How do I help my children overcome the fear of the dentist?
As a family-oriented dentist that loves making patients of all ages smile, we welcome your question about “How do I help my children overcome the fear of the dentist?” Consider Mount Royal Dental of Burlington ON an extension of your family, with a warm environment and a friendly yet professional team that your children will look forward to coming back to time and again for the perio-maintenance and active therapy appointments that are so vital to their oral and overall health.
We’re confident that Mount Royal Dental is the dentist’s office your children will want to return to, as our many pediatric patients love:
- Our bright-colored, sea-themed children’s area – A cheery seal and a silly octopus greet our young patients and help to make the experience fun, not sterile and scary.
- Our sticker wall and treasure chest – What better way to motivate your children to keep their teeth and gums healthy than to reward them with a “prize” for a cavity-free visit?
- Kid-friendly books and toys – We understand children aren’t just adults in little bodies. Even the smallest of features accounts for this, down to child-appropriate items in our welcoming reception and waiting areas.
- Touch-screen computers loaded with children’s games – The technology that kids have grown up around is also used to create positive associations about the dental office. We also use the latest in dental technologies to combat many sources of fear and anxiety for children and adult patients alike; for instance, laser dentistry minimizes or eliminates the need for noisy drills that produce sensations which can inspire discomfort among patients. Plus, these types of technologies also promote healing and are associated with fewer side effects, such as bleeding, than their conventional counterparts.
We’re honored to be your children’s partner in oral health; however, when you can’t be at our warm and welcoming office, we encourage you to instill positive associations and habits. Children who have good relationships with dentists generally have healthier smiles and miss fewer school days than children who may be so fearful they don’t get the routine peri0-maintenance and well check-ups that they need. Bear in mind:
- The earlier the first visit, the better. The first few or formative years of a child’s life (up to around age 8) are critical; UNICEF notes that 85% of an individual’s personality and around 90% of his or her brain development occurs during these early ages. Start your children’s relationship with the dental team off right by scheduling those first dental visits to coincide with their first birthdays. Early visits are all about identifying problems fast when they can be resolved quickly and getting your child comfortable with our office.
- A little preparation goes a long way. Before your visits, enjoy a picture book with your children that features a character that they adore, like Dora Goes to the Dentist, and Pete the Cat and the Lost Tooth. Go through “exercises,” like having your child open his or her mouth wide or use a small spoon to pull back their cheeks. A little “practice” helps to acquaint them with what to expect during routine examinations. Often, phobias are rooted in the fear of the unknown and what we don’t understand. When your child knows what’s ahead, there will be fewer surprises and reasons to be scared.
- Your children are what you say and do. Kids often look to their parents and caregivers as “role models.” If you talk negatively about your past dental experiences, your children may also think of the dental visit negatively. Likewise, if you don’t brush, floss, and visit your friendly dentist at Mount Royal Dental as you should, there is a good chance your child will be resistant to doing so, too. Be a positive and healthy force at home!
- Follow our lead. You, too, can reward children with great oral care behaviours at home. May your own bright and lively sticker board. Inspire enthusiasm for good brushing with fun rewards that don’t necessarily have to be objects; perhaps, a visit to Playland or the Zoo, or even a jaunt through one of our area’s great parks.
The earliest visits provide ample opportunity for our team to show you the best ways to comfortably and effectively clean little mouths because even toothless mouths need to have sugars and bacteria removed so baby teeth can develop healthily. It’s also a great time to ask questions – we welcome them! Call (905) 581-9912 to schedule your children’s appointment at Mount Royal Dental in Burlington ON. Every effort will be made to book back-to-back visits for convenient scheduling and as needed.