4 Tips To Help Reduce Your Child's Dental Anxiety

Posted on: 26 November 2018

Kids are often frightened of going to the doctor's office, and this is especially true of dentist appointments. Unfortunately, many children develop a fear of going to the dentist because they're afraid of having to get cavities filled or plaque scraped from their teeth. Luckily, you can work with your child to alleviate their dental anxieties. Here are four tips you can use to help your child enjoy their next kid's dentist appointment.

1. Choose a pediatric dentist

There are dentists who specialize in working with children, and they are usually better equipped to handle nervous kids. Unlike a general dentist who may be more brusque, a pediatric dentist will take the time to explain the check-up to your child. They can show your child all the tools that they use in order to make the experience educational and less scary. According to Healthy Children, pediatric dentists also have tools meant to fit in child-sized mouths, which can mean less discomfort for your little one.

2. Bring a toy

If your child has a special toy that they use to soothe themselves at home, let them bring it to the dentist. Holding a favorite teddy bear or blanket can be a great way for your child to calm themselves; the tactile experience of holding a warm, soft toy can ground your child in the present and help them focus their thoughts away from their anxiety.

3. Listen to music

Letting your child listen to music during their dentist appointment is another great way to minimize anxiety. Put some of your child's favorite songs on an mp3 player and bring headphones for them. The sounds of a routine dental exam may be alarming to some children, so music can eliminate that stressor.

4. Model good patient behavior

Kids love to mimic their parents. If they see you doing something, they want to do the same thing. This includes your attitude about the dentist! If you complain about going to the dentist, you're teaching your child that the dentist's office is an unpleasant place. Instead, be a role model with a good attitude. Be cheerful about your own dental appointments, and your kids will learn that there's nothing to be afraid of.

Going to the dentist can be a positive experience for your child. Pediatric dentists are available to help keep your child's teeth healthy in a welcoming, soothing environment. With these easy tips, you'll be able to turn your child's dental anxiety into an appreciation for the dentist's office.