If the parents are afraid of going to the dentist, it is also likely for their kids to have the same fear. But sometimes, even if other family members have no problem seeing the dentist, younger children can be hard to convince. While most kids grow out of this fear, it is still important to teach them how to cope or ease dental anxiety while they’re young.
Kids’ dentists in Utah County and other parts of the state share some of the things that can help:
Before the Visit
Tell your kids about the upcoming dental appointment. Don’t wait until the last moment, as this can only aggravate their fear. Keep in mind that kids need as much time to prepare for the visit. This can be a great time to help them cope with anxiety by letting them express their fears. You can also encourage them to ask questions, but keep the answers straight to the point and avoid giving too many details.
You should also:
- Let the dentist know that your kid has dental anxiety.
- Remind kids that they can ask the dentist too.
- Talk to them about the importance taking care of teeth.
- Explain the dentist’s role in keeping their mouth healthy.
During the Visit
Bring your kid’s favorite toy on the day of the appointment. This can help calm their fear and offer distraction. If your child displays fear at the visit, stay calm and speak gently. You can ask the dental professional to make them feel at ease and safe. Don’t forget to ask your dentist for advice and other tips on taking care of your child’s teeth and gums.
When nothing seems to work, conscious sedation like laughing gas can help. This can keep your child calm during the dental procedure. There are different types of sedation and anesthesia, so it is best to learn more about your options. You may also consider therapy to help your little one their overcome fear and receive the right dental care.
Apart from these tips, it is also beneficial to find a child-friendly dental office or a dentist who has experience in working with kids with dental anxiety. The right dentist is willing to take some steps in easing your child’s fear, as well as in offering other alternatives.