Oh, Behave: scared of the dentist



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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:

The
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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