Children are usually anxious and fearful of visiting a dentist. The reason can be nervousness or unpleasant experience from the past. Kids require guidance and encouragement help to reduce their anxiety.
Ways to Help a Child Overcome Dental Anxiety
Parents can help children overcome the fear of a dentist by doing the following.
Before the dental checkup
Find a pediatric dentist
A pediatric dentist is more suited to handle your child’s dental needs. Find a good pediatric dentist when it becomes necessary to book a dental appointment for your child. Pediatric dentists are familiar with the causes of dental anxiety in children and various methods to assist children in relaxing during a dental procedure. The waiting area and exam rooms in their clinics are kid-friendly. Toys, children-friendly games, and shows on the screen will distract your child from the fear of meeting a dentist.
Pediatric dentists also know how to answer questions that children ask out of curiosity and, if necessary, explain sedation or general anesthesia in child-friendly language. For instance, they tell a child that a sedative is a sleepy juice. Making the child see the procedure as fun can really help to lower the amount of stress that surrounds your child’s idea of what their procedure is going to be like.
Discuss the dental visit early
Children feel ambushed when you take them for a dental appointment without prior information or inform them on the day. Inform the child early. Use the moment to teach a child that it is necessary to visit a dentist because it helps prevent cavities and maintain strong good looking teeth for many years.
Answer a child’s questions
It can be really helpful to be somewhat upfront with the child when they have questions. Lying to them if they ask if it is going to hurt at all if it is going to will give the child mistrust when it comes to the next time you are to take them to the dentist and may even experience more distress surrounding the dentist.
Your child will think the experience will be unpleasant if it seems you are holding back information. Provide the details that help to demystify the process and the expected procedure. However, it is important to be brief because too many points may cause confusion and worsen anxiety.
Organize a meeting with the dentist before the appointment day
An unfamiliar environment or staff might be the reason for dental anxiety in your child. An early visit before the appointment day reduces uneasiness because the child will be familiar with the dentist, staff, and surroundings during the next visit.
During the appointment day
• Carry a comforting item or a toy for the appointment
A child might become anxious when you reach the dental clinic. A toy or item that helps the kid relax will help divert attention from the fear until you reach the dentist’s office.
• Stay close to the child
Children feel safe when around their parents. Do not leave the dentist’s office because the child will feel abandoned, and anxiety increases. Actions like holding the hand or letting a child sit on the lap when the dentist checks the teeth make a child feel safe and less anxious.
• Do not talk too much
Keep quiet for the child to develop a rapport with the dentist. A child may cause trouble, for instance, by refusing to open the mouth or keep pushing the dentist away. Speak calmly to the child because it will encourage the child to relax.
Dental anxiety is common among children and even adults. With the help of the suggestions in this article, you can help lower the stress and anxiety that your child may experience when a dental visit is upcoming.