How To Manage Dental Anxiety in Kids? Tips And Tricks
Posted by Jeanne V. Devi on Mar 18 2023, 09:39 PM
Dental anxiety, or fear of the dentist, is one of the most common fears among children. Dental anxiety and phobias can cause children to miss out on important dental care, which can contribute to tooth decay and other dental problems. Early dental visits can help your child overcome his or her fear or anxiety of the dentist. If your child has dental anxiety, here are a few tips to ease them.
Children have an innate fear of the unknown, and what follows is a fear that they will experience pain at a visit to the dentist's office. This anxiety usually starts when a child is old enough to understand the concept of a dentist visit. If the child has had a bad experience at the dentist in the past, chances are that they will associate this bad experience with all upcoming dental visits. This is why it is important for parents to start early and help children develop comfort while at the dentist's office.
Some important things to keep in mind are as follows:
- Start taking your child to a pediatric dentist as early as they turn one year old. This helps the child get used to the environment of the dental office and the routine of a dental checkup before they start school and begin getting nervous about new things around them.
- Take along something for your child to hold that will remind them of their home. This could be a favorite toy, a blanket, or a stuffed animal. This will make them feel secure. If you can establish a relationship of trust with the child's dentist, then this will help your cause as well. Additionally, if you can take your child with you to your own dental checkups, this will also help them learn about oral hygiene and build a sense of familiarity and comfort around you going to the dentist's office.
- If your child is still too young to comprehend words, you can teach the importance of oral health through stories and pictures. You can show them images of people brushing their teeth and talk about why it is important to brush regularly. Similarly, you can read them stories about trips to the dentist and help them understand that these trips are beneficial and not something to be worried about.
- Let your child see you get your teeth checked and cleaned on a regular basis. Make sure they understand that the trip to the dentist is not scary but something that has to be done to ensure that their teeth stay healthy and strong.
- Your child is learning so much about the world every single day. They're learning about their bodies and how to take care of them. It's your job as a parent to provide them with all of the information they need to make good choices for themselves. That includes teaching them about their teeth and giving them the tools that they need to take care of their smiles from home!
- If you're not sure how to approach your child about the dentist, a good place to start might be with the basics. Talk to your kid about how a dentist is going to help them take care of their smile. Explain that dentists are specially trained to help patients of all ages maintain healthy teeth and gums, as well as diagnose and treat any oral health issues that may be present. Let them know that going to the dentist is a normal part of growing up!
- When it comes time for the first visit, being calm will help to ease your own child's anxiety. Take them somewhere fun before the appointment to get them excited, and be sure to praise them for their bravery throughout their time at the dental office. Once they're done, don't forget to ask them about their experience and help them to process it. If your child is feeling nervous again in future appointments, let them know that you understand and suggest ways that they can feel better.
Visit Jeanne V. Devi DDS at 595 E Colorado Blvd Suite 603, Pasadena, CA 91101, for the best dental care, or call us at (626) 795-2544 to book an appointment.