How do I cure my 6 year old’s dental phobia?
2nd August 2011

Dr. Jennifer, Iam a concerned mother a a 6year old boy, he's beginning to develop a phobia of cleaning his teeth, its getting worse though, as now I only manage to clean them once every couple and days, I dont know what to do. Detentist vistits are a nightmare as well as he screams and kicked off. Please tell me what to do as I av no further ideas!!

A. I think that you need to take a step back here . I dont know your child so any tips I give are general . Sounds as if teeth cleaning time has become a battle which you are losing ! By 6 years old he should be cleaning his teeth himself. Could you devise some way of making it fun rather than a battle , with a reward for even a small step . Have you considered buying an inexpensive childs electric toothbrush ? is teeth cleaning associated with anything else ? Take him along to the dentist when you or another family member goes for a check , with no pressure on him to have his own teeth looked at. Of course if he has known dental problems thats a different matter , and you may need to find out where the local Community Dental Service is , they often have more time and patience with a child who doesnt like it . Often these things do sort themselves out as a child matures .

Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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