Helping Your Child Overcome Dental Anxiety

Overcoming Fear of the Dentist

Got a little one that has some extra anxiety around dental visits?

It’s normal for people of all ages to have some trepidation about seeing the dentist. But there are ways you can help your little guy or gal overcome their fears.

Read on for some great ideas!

Identify their fears

It’s helpful to know what exactly about their dental visit is the scariest part.

Are they afraid of the hygienist’s face mask? Do they not like the taste of the toothpaste that’s offered? Our goal is to make your child comfortable with our tools, the sounds they make and our staff. We are happy to let them hold our dental tools and even try them out! This can help them learn that they are not scary and that visiting the dentist can be fun.

Identifying fears can help you work with our dental team to figure out a solution. Also, sometimes just talking through fears can help your child feel more relaxed.

Stay with your child

Would it help your child to have you holding her hand? Or are they better off feeling a sense of autonomy and empowerment by being brave? Determine which is the right approach for their visit. If your child is young feel free to bring a favorite blanket or stuffed animal. Anything that will give them a sense of comfort can help.

Teach simple relaxation techniques

Practice doing deep breathing techniques at home. Have them breathe in for 5 seconds, and then out for 5 seconds. Tell them to try this during any time in their visit that causes them fear.

Ask about sedation options

Depending on the age of your child, there may be sedation options such as using nitrous oxide.  Our dentists are happy to explain the different options and any associated risks.

Offer a reward

If you use a reward system in your parenting, remind your child about something they will receive once their visit is over. Perhaps a new toy or a trip to their favorite ice cream place is enough to distract them during their visit.

See a psychologist

If your child is fearful to the point of being hysterical or unable to cope with their visits, seek out the help of a local counselor who has helped other children in this area.

Visiting the dentist doesn’t have to be a scary experience. At Children’s Dental Village we offer a chance to win prizes for a cavity free checkup, a fun atmosphere, television programs and even video games in our waiting area to ease the anxiety and make it a fun experience. View our Cavity Free Club Winners.

What’s important is working with your child to address their fears instead of pretending they don’t exist or shouldn’t be feeling them. If you have a special request that would help your child enjoy their next visit, be sure to call our office ahead of time and we will do everything we can to make them feel comfortable.

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