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Is Your Child’s Dental Anxiety A Concern?

For many parents their child’s dental anxiety is a real concern and this can make both you and your child dread regular appointments.

Does you child have dental anxiety and puts up a struggle at the dentist?

Here are a few tricks to get them a little more excited about their next dental appointment. Or at least a little less resistant to go.

Go to a pediatric dentist

Whether or not your child has a fear of the dentist, choosing a pediatric dentist to care for your child’s oral health is the best option.

These dentists have extra years of experience being trained to specifically deal with a child’s dental anxiety.

They are trained to provide the best solutions for your child’s dental fear and can help make their experience more enjoyable.

helping childrens dental anxiety

Early dentist visits may minimize a child’s dental anxiety 

When it comes to your child’s first dentist visit the sooner you take them the better.

It’s advised to take your child by their first birthday, or even when their first tooth appears.

This helps them grow accustomed to the visits rather than introducing a new and scary experience.

It means the dentist is seen as friendly and reduces a child’s dental anxiety.



Make a game out of it at home

Playing “mom” or “teacher” as games with your kids, a pretend dentist visit may ease your child’s dental anxiety.

Show your kids that there’s nothing to be worried about by expressing your excitement for the “appointment.”

Take turns role-playing as the dentist and patient using a toothbrush and hand-held mirror.

Tuck a napkin into your shirt and sit back in a recliner chair if you have one.



Don’t use bribery to deal with a child’s dental anxiety

Offering something as bribery might cause your child to expect a gift whenever they don’t want to do something in the future.

It may also confirm their notion that the dentist is someone to be afraid of.

Rather than bribing your child reward them with praise for good behavior.  Make sure to commend their bravery after the appointment (even if they were far from brave).


Use positive language

childrens dental anxiety

Don’t tell your children horror stories of your past dentist visits.  Speak highly of your own personal experiences to reduce your child’s dental anxiety.

Avoid using terms that may have a negative connotation such as “shots” and “drills.”

Let your child know about the visit a few days in advance so that they have time to come to terms with it.

Answer any questions and explain the dentist wants to make their smile healthy and strong.  There is no need for anxiety.


Sedation dentistry is an option for a child’s dental anxiety

If nothing else seems to ease your child’s fear then you may consider sedation dentistry for kids.

There are a few different kinds of sedations available for children who have difficulty visiting the dentist.

Dentists and their assistants are trained and certified to administer these mild drugs.  The sedation will wear off quite quickly.



If you have had to deal with your child’s dental anxiety you know it’s a trying time.

We have offered these methods to assist you and would love to hear your feedback.

Talk to your pediatric dentist about any further suggestions or options to make your child’s experience more enjoyable.

For more helpful health tips for children check out this article on our site.

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