How to Help Your Child Manage Dental Anxiety

Visiting the dentist is a scary thought. Even some adults fear the dentist. When it’s our children who are suffering from dental anxiety, though, it’s even more important to ease the fear.

We don’t want our little ones feeling anxious or worried about their dentist appointment. Good oral hygiene is related to good overall health, and we want our children to be as healthy as possible. When it’s time to schedule that first appointment, don’t let your little one’s anxiety take over.

There are ways to manage dental anxiety in children. Continue reading below to learn more about dental anxiety management!

Start Bringing Them at an Early Age

Did you know you should start bringing your little one to the dentist as soon as they get their first tooth in? Yes, that’s right! You don’t have to wait until they’re school-aged or have a full mouth of teeth.

When you see that first tooth come through, be sure to call and schedule their first appointment. The sooner you begin taking them, the more comfortable they’ll be with the dentist as they get older.

Explain to Them What Will Happen

Anxiety is heightened when someone doesn’t know what to expect. Your child might not know what’s going to happen when they see the dentist or why they’re going there. This can increase anxiety.

Be sure to explain to them why the dentist is so important. Why are they seeing the dentist, and what does the dentist do? You can read children’s books to them about visiting the dentist to make them feel more comfortable as well. Additionally, you can consult your dentist for more details about going to polish your teeth by the pediatric dentistry Friendswood to better prepare your child.

Visit the Dentist Before the Appointment

Before the appointment, ask the dentist if you and your child can take a tour of the office. Schedule a meet and greet to allow time for your child to interact with the dentist ahead of time. Let your child ask questions, and choose a pediatric dentist over a general dentist.

A pediatric dentist differs from other dentists because he or she is trained to work with small children. A pediatric dentist will know how to talk to children and make them feel comfortable while there.

Use a Reward System

A reward system is a great way to make your child feel proud of themselves for visiting the dentist and overcoming their fears. Once you give your child a sticker or goodie bag after the appointment, they’ll be excited to come back and do great next time as well!

You can create your own reward system for your child, but the pediatric dentist should have a reward system of their own as well.

Keep up with Your Routine to visit a Reliable Dentist

A child who regularly sees the same expert will eventually develop an attachment with them and begin to trust them. Additionally, it’s crucial to make sure that your kid can see that you trust the doctor or dentist you’ve picked. You can perform a quick background check on potential dentists, talk to other professionals, and then choose one who has a good track record working with children.  You can visit the dentist occasionally with your kid for a general checkup. In this way, your kid will develop a routine to visit the dentist on and off.

Motivate your Kids 

For kids and their families, a simple explanation of what a doctor’s or dentist’s office is like might help create a positive vibe. You must avoid coming up with improbable situations that will lower their expectations of a pleasant visit. If you say, going to the doctor or the dentist is “no big deal” or “won’t be painful,” you stand the risk of losing their trust. So, make sure to tell them it might hurt a little but it will be fine within a few days. They just have to bear it with patience and the pain will fade away eventually. After the appointment, make sure you praise their bravery for visiting the dentist and not complaining at all.

Help them Control their Emotions and Feelings

It’s normal for one to distance oneself from fear. It is advisable to avoid behaviors and circumstances that seem dangerous or potentially harmful, especially from a child’s perspective.

Children lack the adult-like ability to deal with fear, worry, or anything they see as dangerous. Therefore, it is preferable to support them in acknowledging dread as a natural response rather than conveying the idea that it is unreal or unacceptable; allow them to share their sentiments regarding their forthcoming appointment or current circumstances. Don’t “sugar-coat” their future experience; instead, reaffirm your faith in them and ask questions without causing fear. It is much better to inquire, “How are you feeling about going to the doctor or dentist?” rather than, “Are you ready to go?” Make sure to choose your words wisely and that’s it! You will be able to calm down your child’s emotions.

Your Child’s Dental Anxiety Can Be at Ease

Having dental anxiety is a normal thing for just about anyone. When it’s your children suffering from it, however, you want to do whatever you can to ease it. All you can do is to motivate them to go for a dental checkup, encourage them to complete the dental procedure  and finally acknowledge them for their patience. Follow the helpful tips listed in this guide to begin easing your child’s anxiety and making dentist visits fun!

For more parenting tips and advice, be sure to check back here on a regular basis.