How to Ease Dental Anxiety in Children
Going to the dentist is quite a common fear among children. An upcoming appointment can cause anything from a little nervousness to full-blown panic. Dental anxiety in children stems from many different areas; the unusual environment, separation from parents, fear of the equipment or of possible pain. More often than not, dental anxiety has been influenced by a close family member who also has it.
While having these fears as a child is perfectly normal, it can cause greater problems when they’re older and result in complete avoidance of the dentist, which puts their oral health at risk. Overcoming dental anxiety isn’t impossible. With guidance and support, you can help your child ease their dental fear and anxiety for stress-free dentist visits.
Create A Positive Picture of Going to the Dentist
If a parent has vocally expressed their own dental anxiety, it’s likely these fears will be passed on to their child. Refrain from telling your child any stories about negative experiences at the dentist or using phrases like “it will hurt a little bit”. Instead, focus on positive experiences of what it’s like to be at the dentist’s office. For example, some dental practices might have cartoons playing on the TV, children’s books to read, or toys to play with.
Address Their Fears
Children need routine and stability in their lives, so the rare trip to the dentist can create fears of being put in an unfamiliar situation. Be sure to tell your child in advance they have a dental appointment coming up so they can mentally prepare.
Talk to them through their dental fear and anxiety so you can better understand where it’s coming from and reassure them. For example, if they’re scared of being in a new environment, it may help to bring their favourite stuffed toy along and let them know you’ll be by their side the whole time.
Find a Child-Friendly Dentist
Find a dental practice with a dentist who specialises in children’s dentistry. A good child-friendly dentist will know exactly how to make your child comfortable and make the experience as pleasant as possible. They’ll use tactics to calm them and engage in friendly conversation to help them work on overcoming their dental anxiety.
A dentist who makes your child feel safe and content during their appointment is the best way to ease dental anxiety in children. Oasis Dental Studio specialises in children’s dentistry and is dedicated to caring for their oral health and hygiene. Contact us to book your child in for an appointment today.