Even as an adult, the dental office can be an unsettling place, so to a child sitting in the dentist’s chair, the experience can feel very intimidating. If any of your children experience dental anxiety, there are 4 ways you can help them feel at ease.
1. Talk Positively About the Dentist
As an adult, you may have endured negative dental experiences that cause you to speak negatively about the dentist. Try not to do this in front of your children, as it will make them assume they should worry about their checkups, too.
Tell your child that visiting the dentist is a good thing and that if there are any problems, that’s what the dentist is there for, to make any problems better. You could even role play as a dentist during your kids’ playtime to give them a basic understanding of what it’s like to visit the dentist. That way, it doesn’t feel new to them when they arrive.
2. Good Oral Hygiene Prevents Dental Anxiety
Don’t let your children’s first visit to the dentist be when they are in pain. If their first experience is because they’re in pain, then they will associate the dentist with that pain. They will see it as a negative place, and it will definitely not help their dental anxiety.
Make sure your children have good oral hygiene. They should be brushing and flossing their teeth twice a day. This reduces the chances of developing oral problems, which means that their checkups will go much smoother.
3. Speak to Your Dentist About Your Child’s Dental Anxiety
Before the appointment begins, speak to your dentist about your child’s dental anxiety, so that they know to go that extra mile to put your child at ease. Let your child also voice their concerns so the dentist can connect with them and reassure them they don’t need to be scared.
It’s also important to speak in a way that children understand, simplifying terms and phrases so that they are less intimidating and easy to process.
4. Praise Any Good Behavior
Encouragement and support are key to preventing dental anxiety in children. Letting your children know how well they are doing with positive reinforcements is comforting and lets them know they are safe.
Get in Touch
If your child suffers from dental anxiety, get in touch with DeSanti Family Dentistry and let us know of any issues that may arise during their visit. We are a friendly team who wants our patients to feel as comfortable as possible.