It’s common for kids and even adults to be afraid of the dentist. This usually happens due to fear of the unknown or perhaps an unpleasant visit in their past. Dental anxiety in kids could even be a result of parents talking about their own dental worries.
The oral health of your children is essential but forcing a child with stress and fear of being examined by their dentist can be a daunting task. As a parent, you must know that dental anxiety is common in children, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. That’s why at Danville Family Dentistry, we have tons of experience working with children who have dental anxiety.
5 Tips to Help Your Child Reduce Dental Anxiety
In extreme cases, dental anxiety can affect your child’s dental health for the rest of their life, so we have developed a list of tips and tricks to help you prevent your child from developing this problem, or at least to reduce it. Here are five tips for easing dental anxiety for your children.
- Read your children books that include dental stories.
Children’s storybooks are a great way to help reduce their fear of visiting the dentist. Through colorful illustrations and easy-to-understand language, your kids can see what a happy dental experience looks like. This helps your child develop a better understanding of what to expect at the dentist.
- Start with dental visits while they are young.
We advise parents to bring their children to us as soon as their first tooth appears or at least before their first birthday. Taking your child for their first dental exam while they’re young is not only good for their oral wellbeing but also helps them become comfortable with the dentist’s office at an early age. Starting routine visits early is a perfect way to help you and your children feel comfortable and build confidence with your dentist.
- Play the dentist game at home.
Before taking your kids to dental appointments, it’s beneficial to practice by playing the dentist game. Kids love games, and this is a great way to prepare them for a visit. Let your child play the role of the dentist, examining and playing with your teeth. Then, reverse roles so that you can demonstrate what might happen at the dentist, like cleaning and counting their teeth. Also, encourage them to practice with dolls or stuffed animals, using toothbrushes and a mirror.
- Communicate with your child but keep everything simple.
Telling your children at the very last minute that you’re headed to a dental appointment can increase their stress and dental anxiety. If your kids are already feeling worried about a dental visit, make sure to give them plenty of time to mentally prepare for the visit. Tell them far in advance of their dental appointment. Otherwise, it seems like you’re hiding something which can scare your child. Continually remind them as the appointment date approaches.
Be sure to ask them if they have any questions before the appointment and try to answer them in a neutral but honest way. Avoid using vague statements such as “everything will be fine,” even if that is true. If your child ends up needing dental treatment, your “everything will be fine” statement can cause distrust between you and your child, and between your child and the dentist. Use positive words like “clean,” “healthy,” and “strong” to get your kids excited about seeing the dentist.
- Go to a family dentist
When taking care of your children’s dental health, seeing a family dentist is your best option. The benefits of working with our specialists at Danville Family Dentistry is that we’re family-focused dental and have experience dealing with children, as well as ensuring that they have a great dental experience.
If you’re ready to schedule your child’s first dental appointment, call us today at 317-745-4400. We can’t wait to hear from you and meet your children.
Are you on facebook? We are, too! Let’s be friends!
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.