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.
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.
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. Follow the helpful tips listed in this guide to begin easing your child’s anxiety and making dentist visits fun!
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