How Can I Help My Child Be Less Afraid of Going to the Dentist?
It's normal and understandable for a child to feel some anxiety about going to the dentist. And it's important to respect their fear as you try to alleviate it. Regular trips to the dentist are an integral aspect of keeping your child in good overall health, so you'll want to find ways to make this experience less daunting for your kiddo. Fortunately, there are some measures you can take that can help to make your child less afraid of spending some time in the dental chair. Here are four ways to reduce your child's dental visit anxiety.
Prepare for the Anxiety
Before you tell them about the impending dental visit, you'll want to prepare yourself for an anxious reaction, and perhaps even a serious fit. By anticipating such a reaction, it'll be easier for you to remain calm. If your child's reaction flusters you, it will only heighten the emotion around the situation, which can increase the fear your child feels.
Start Dental Visits at a Young Age
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child should have their first dental visit by their first birthday. By developing a rapport with a pediatric dentist, your child will have less fear of the unknown.
Simplify the Visit
It's generally best if you don't go into detail about everything that will happen during the visit. While you do want your child to feel comfortable and familiar with their dentist, you don't need to bring up any aspects of the visit that could exacerbate anxiety, such as drilling. It's also important that you don't tell your child that the visit will be entirely enjoyable. This could give them a false sense of hope and make them trust you less the next time they have anxiety about an upcoming appointment or event. Typically, it's best to walk the line between providing just enough information to reduce fear of the unknown, while not going into particular details that will heighten their anxiety.
Emphasize the Benefits of Going to the Dentist
If your child is anxious about an upcoming dental visit, you can try to shift the discussion toward the benefits that the dentist provides. You can explain to them how the dentist keeps their teeth healthy, making it easy for them to eat their favorite foods. Also, you can praise their smile and talk about how the dentist helps to keep their smile looking nice and bright.
If your child needs dental care, be sure to entrust the work to a reputable pediatric dentist who focuses on minimizing anxiety. For a children's dentist in Gilbert, Mesa, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, and Chandler, AZ, the trusted name is Sweet Tooth Pediatric Dentistry at (480) 637-4186. Feel free to give Sweet Tooth Pediatric Dentistry a call today to schedule an appointment!
Posted: March 8, 2021