Don't Let Your Children Fear the Dentist

Want to teach your child to not fear the dentist? Itís not as hard as you think, according to Dr. Michael Webb, medical director of pediatric dentistry at Children's Medical Center of Dallas. "By following a few simple guidelines, parents can help make visits to the dentist an enjoyable experience," Webb said.

Webb recommends developing good oral hygiene at an early age. Good preventive measures will mean that children will only go to the dentist for professional preventive services such as cleaning and sealants. Also, be sure you donít use the dentist as a punishment. Some parents will say that if the child does not behave that the dentist will give them a "big shot" or "take all of their teeth out."

Try not to overprepare the child for the dental visit. "Just tell the child the day of the visit that he is going to see the dentist, and donít share any negative experiences," Webb said. Once at the dentist, let the dentist do the talking. "Children should be seen by a pediatric dentist, especially if the child is fearful or medically compromised," Webb said. "Pediatric dentists are trained to deliver dental care while making the experience fun for the child."