How Parents Can Ease Their Kids' Dental Anxiety
Kids often get nervous about going to the dentist, especially if they’ve never had dental cleanings or other dental work before. Even kids who have gone before can experience anxiety about having their teeth cleaned and checked. Parents can do their part in helping their kids feel more comfortable about dental visits before appointments. Keep the following tips in mind if your kids experience dental anxiety.
Start at a Young Age
The younger kids are when they first go to the dentist, the calmer they usually are about other dental visits. Fear of the unknown is one of the main reasons that kids feel nervous about dental visits. Getting them used to going when they’re young helps them overcome this fear earlier, so they’ll know what to expect and be more at ease for their routine cleanings.
Practice Dental Visits by Playing
Playing dentist with your kids gives them a fun way to learn what to expect at these visits. Keep these play sessions as entertaining as possible while also answering any questions your kids might have. Doing this helps kids understand why they’re going and what will happen during their exams and cleanings.
Discuss Dental Health
Emphasizing the importance of good dental health can also help ease kids’ dental anxiety. This information makes it easier for them to understand why they need to have their teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year. Don’t go into too much detail about what can happen if they don’t go for these visits since you don’t want to scare them. Just let them know that keeping their teeth and gums healthy helps prevent problems that might require them to go for extra dental visits, such as cavities.
Promising bribes for going to the dentist might seem like a good way to ease kids’ fears, but this can end up backfiring. Bribing kids might make them think that dental visits are something bad that they should fear. Rather than offering a bribe to your kids for dental visits, let them know how good they were after the appointment. This praise will help build a positive association with going to the dentist.
Focus on Your Kids
Don’t explain dental visits by talking about what you experience. If you feel nervous at all about your appointments, you could end up expressing this without realizing it. Instead, put the focus on your kids and their upcoming visits to help ease their anxiety. This will help them feel more confident about having cleanings, exams and other kinds of dental work done.
If it’s time for your kids to have dental cleanings and exams, please contact us at Wright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry to make an appointment today!