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Oh, Behave: scared of the dentist

My son is scared to death of the dentist. I’ve started getting anxious, too, before he goes. He’s had no major work, he just screams and cries when he’s there. I had to hold him on my lap the last time. He’s seven and this is getting too hard. How can I get him to calm down?  CANDACE M, NEPEAN, ON

Visits to doctors, dentists and other professionals can be stressful for the whole family! Let me make a few suggestions:

calmer the parent, the calmer the child is. Consider having the other
parent take your son to the dentist as a fresh start.  Sometimes one
dentist is scary and the next is not – think about shopping around. I
would strongly suggest that you find a local dentist who specializes in
paediatric dentistry. You will be amazed at the difference a specialist
can make (toys, kid-friendly, the chair, the puppets) and they will have
suggestions for dealing comfortably with fears.

Odd as it may
seem, sometimes going to the dentist with a friend (another mom and
their child) can take the edge off of the experience – just be sure it
is someone who likes the dentist!

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