Dental anxiety is a big problem for children. It can cause them to avoid the dentist, which means they are missing out on important preventative dental care. It is up to you as a parent to find ways to ease their dental anxiety so that they can have good oral health.
Getting your child to be less resistant to dental visits is possible. In this post, we will discuss ways to reduce dental anxiety in children and make their trips to the dentist more enjoyable!
What Is Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety means that your child is worried about going to the dentist.
Why do children get dental anxiety? Some children may be afraid of feeling pain and become anxious about going to the dentist. They may have a fear of the unknown, this is why it is important to give them as much information as possible.
The first dental visit for children is usually the one most feared and is one of the biggest hurdles you may face. Some children have more dental anxiety than others, but even if your child doesn’t really get nervous at the dentist they can always learn more about how to relax when they go in for a visit.
Find the Right Dentist
A good dentist will help reduce the anxiety of children. The dentist will be able to take their fear away by showing them that nothing that happens in the dental office needs to be scary.
They should also let your child know that they are doing everything to keep them safe. Some dentists might talk or sing with the patient which will also reduce the anxiety for the child because they know that they will not be left alone in a scary environment.
Visit the Dentist Early
Your child should start going to the dentist when they have two teeth, even if they’re just baby teeth.
This way you can get them used to being in a dental office from an early age and make it a fun experience for them instead of something scary or stressful. Going regularly will also help prevent tooth decay before it becomes a problem, which will save you money in the long run.
Talk With Your Dentist
If you know your child is afraid of the dentist it might be a good idea to go and talk with the doctor about your concerns ahead of time.
Make sure that the dentist tells your child they can always tell how they feel in an open honest way. A lot of fears can be alleviated by simply making a visit ahead of the appointment.
In this way, your child will become familiar with the dentist and they can tell them exactly what would happen and how they plan to make the experience safe. This can significantly reduce their anxiety.
Read Literature About the Dentist
There are several books available that will teach your child more about the dentist. Make sure you choose books that are written in a friendly way and portray visits to the dentist as being fun. A good book that your child can get into will put the dentist in a completely different light.
You can try dramatizing the book as well. Playing pretend and acting out scenes from the book will make your child be even more confident about their visit to the dentist.
Reduce Your Anxiety
If you have a fear of the dentist then you may inadvertently be instilling this in your child as well. Make sure that you talk positively about the dentist. Discuss all the benefits that can be derived from visiting regularly. It is important to let your child know why dental visits are mandatory.
Let them know that there is a reason and a purpose behind visits. The more you talk positively about the dentist the more you will reduce dental anxiety in your child.
Reduce Time Between Visits
Children often forget, so once you get your child gets comfortable with visiting the dentist. It is best not to wait too long before you take them to the dentist again.
It is recommended that children should visit the dentist at least twice per year. These visits will allow them to get even more comfortable with visiting the dentist regularly.
Take Care of Your Teeth
It is important that you take good care of your child’s teeth and in addition to regular brushing and flossing visits to the dentist are a must. By making sure you take your child regularly to a good pediatric dentist that they are comfortable with you will ensure that your child maintains good oral health.