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How to Ease Your Child’s Dental Anxiety

Posted on January 21, 2022

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Dental anxiety is a common problem among children. It can be so severe that they avoid the dentist altogether– which, of course, leads to more problems in the long run. Here are some tips on how to ease your child’s dental anxiety.

1. Prepare Your Child for the Dentist’s Visit in Advance

Dental anxiety is often caused or exacerbated by not knowing what to expect. If you’ve never been to the dentist, it can be even worse! Before taking your child in for their first visit, you should talk about what will happen at each step of the way. Talk about what the waiting room will look like, what it’ll feel like to sit in the dentist’s chair, etc. This way, your child will know what to expect and can feel more at ease about it.

2. Bring an Object of Comfort to the Dentist’s Office

Many kids who are anxious about going to a kids dentist like to bring something that comforts them into the exam room. It could be a stuffed animal or even their favorite blanket. Bringing along a familiar item will help to comfort your child and lessen their dental anxiety.

3. Communicate with the Dentist

If your child is very nervous about visiting the dentist, you should try to communicate that anxiety to the dentist ahead of time. The last thing you want is for your child to be surprised by the dentist or to have their anxiety worsened in any way. A good kids dentist will understand and accommodate your child’s dental anxiety, so don’t be afraid to discuss it with them ahead of time.

4. Be A Good Example

One of the best ways to help your child feel comfortable at the dentist is to be calm and collected yourself. If you’re anxious about it, your child will pick up on that anxiety and be more nervous than they would normally. They need to see that you are relaxed when you’re in the dentist’s chair!

5. Teach Your Child About Dental Hygiene

Many kids who are anxious about visiting the kids dentist simply don’t understand why they need to go in the first place! It can be helpful to talk with your child about why it’s important to see a dentist and how it helps keep them healthy. You should also start teaching your child good dental hygiene habits, like how to brush their teeth and floss. This way, when they are older, it will be second nature for them to care for their teeth properly.

According to the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools, 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental-related problems for children under 19 years old. Dental anxiety can be a big part of why kids avoid the dentist in the first place. If you make your child feel comfortable and help them understand what to expect, they will be less likely to experience dental anxiety.

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