Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Kids
Posted by Silver Summit Dental on Mar 28 2023, 05:14 AM
Dental anxiety is one of the most common fears among children. As a parent, it's your responsibility to help your child cope with this fear. Read this blog post to learn about some easy tips that will help you and your child deal with dental anxiety.
Tips for Managing Pediatric Dental Anxiety
- If your kid has anxiety about visiting the dentist, start early! Children should visit a dentist as soon as their teeth begin to erupt. Establishing a positive relationship with your dentist early in life will help prevent future issues with anxiety and fear of the dental office.
- When it comes to children's oral health, starting young is key. Starting dental care early can help instill lifelong healthy hygiene habits into your child while preventing serious dental issues down the road. As soon as the first tooth erupts, you should bring your child to the pediatric dentist to ensure that teeth are coming in normally and that there are no underlying problems that need to be addressed early on.
- Introduce your child to the fun side of the dental office as soon as they turn one year old with their first dental cleaning. Bring their favorite toy and encourage them to let the hygienist examine them. Allow them to have a seat in the chair while the hygienist gently brushes and flosses their mouth. These little moments can help create a positive experience for starting regular dental visits.
- Take your child to familiar places outside of the dental office to help them feel more at ease. Try taking them to the park to play after their treatment. Or take them to a fun place to eat after their appointment, like an ice cream shop. This will help them associate the office with the positive things in life versus the negative things they hear about dentists.
- Avoid using words like "pain" or "hurt" when discussing dental procedures with your kids. Instead, use phrases such as "numb," "pressure," or "cold." Using negative words can scare small children and make them want to avoid their teeth in the future.
- Keep a positive attitude during your appointment with your child. If you are nervous and stressed about the procedure, they will feed off that energy and become more anxious themselves.
- If your child is old enough to understand, you can explain to them what will happen during a checkup. You can also let them know that the dentist will look for signs of cavities and other dental problems and ensure that their teeth are healthy and strong.
- Even if your children are still very young and don't understand exactly what a trip to the dentist entails, you can still prepare them by explaining that they will have a fun experience and that the pediatric dentist will check to make sure that their teeth are clean and healthy.
- The best way to help your kids overcome their fear of visiting the dentist is to take them to your own dental checkups so that they can see what a normal dental checkup is like. Children often look to their parents as role models, and when they see how calm you are during the procedure, they'll be more likely to remain calm themselves.
- Books and stories are great ways to introduce kids to the importance of good oral health. There are picture books about going to the dentist and what to expect in the chair. There are even some children's books on brushing teeth too. For older kids, reading a story about a trip to the dentist's office could be a good way to prepare them for their first visit.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Pham at Silver Summit Dental by calling us at (801) 542-0998 or visiting our office at 5734 13400 S, Herriman, UT, 84096.