William T. McMaugh, DDS
Dental excellence. Compassionate care.
  • William T. McMaugh, DDS | Pond in a Forest
  • William T. McMaugh, DDS | Fields

“I love my job most when I help patients realize that they can receive the treatment they need without fear or discomfort.” - Dr. McMaugh

Dental Fear and Kids: Getting Past the TV Stereotypes

Children's Dental Anxiety | Harleysville PA

Dentists have certainly had to do a lot of PR to show patients that we’re not just scary people in white coats. Even as patients are seeing for themselves that we really are good guys, the negative stereotype persists.

Pediatric dentistry is an important part of your child’s overall healthcare, and the team at our Harleysville dental office is committed to changing this perception.

Sometimes it’s difficult enough to convince adults that dentistry can actually be a pleasant experience. But kids are like little sponges – they pick up everything they see and hear even though you may not realize it. When they constantly see or hear negative portrayals of dentists, you can bet that message is coming through loud and clear. 

So what can you do to help counter these negative messages?

Helping Your Child Enjoy the Dentist

Here are a few suggestions for showing your child the positive side of dental care:

Keep a positive attitude. If you are afraid of the dentist, try not to say things that will increase the fear of your child. Words like pain and shot may feel like an honest assessment to you, but talking about the potential of those things before the appointment may just set your child up for more anxiety than they need to experience. 

Be patient with your child. Children often experience distress from new experiences, including a visit to the dentist. It’s okay if your child acts fussy. This doesn’t mean your child is misbehaving. It just means this is a new experience and your child isn’t sure how to cope with it. Reassuring words from both you and your dentist are the key to a successful experience. 

Pediatric dentistry at our Harleysville office should be a regular part of your child’s life because oral health is closely tied to physical health and self-esteem. Starting your child early with trips to the dentist and encouraging good dental habits at home will reassure your child that the dental experience does not have to be scary.

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