How to Help Your Children Overcome Dental Anxiety

Dental fear is common among children. As a parent, there are many things you can do to help your little one with their dental anxiety. Bringing your child to the dentist from an early age, going to a dentist with experience helping nervous children, and having healthy conversations with your child about the dentist are just a few ways to help your child feel better about dental visits.

Get an Early Start

Start bringing your child to the dentist from an early age – the earlier, the better. By introducing your child to the dentist when they’re very young, you can help stop feelings of anxiety before they start. This makes going to the dentist a more normal thing to do, and less something to be feared.

If your child has already expressed anxiety about going to the dentist by the time they start having dental visits, don’t let this anxiety stop you from making more appointments. Only by going to the dentist will they learn that the experience can be a positive one.

Choose a Family Dentist

A family dentist will have experience with children and should have the tools and strategies to help your child feel more comfortable. If you’re especially worried about finding a dentist that can help your child feel comfortable, call the dentist in advance of the visit to alert them to your child’s concerns.

You can also ask the dentist about strategies they use to help children feel better about their visit. Don’t take your child to a dentist who can’t tell you what they would do to make your child feel more comfortable.

Know What Triggers the Anxiety

There are many things that can leave kids feeling anxious about seeing the dentist. Knowing your child’s triggers about the dentist can help you talk through your child’s concerns, or find another way to address your child’s anxiety. Some common triggers include:

  • Fear it will hurt. Maybe your child has tooth pain, and they’re worried that going to the dentist will make their tooth hurt worse. If this is the case, you can explain to your child that going to the dentist will ultimately help their pain, and the procedure itself is unlikely to hurt.
  • Fear of embarrassment. Some children worry about going to the dentist because they’re afraid that the dentist will uncover cavities or dental decay. It’s important for children to understand that they can stop dental decay from happening if they go to the dentist and take proper care of their teeth.
  • Negative experiences in the past. Maybe your child has felt some pain or embarrassment at the dentist in the past. If this is the case, they may need some encouragement. Have conversations with your child about why going to the dentist is important.

Use These Easy Tips

Still having trouble making your child feel comfortable? Below are some easy tips to make going to the dentist a better experience.

  • Schedule the appointment for a time of day when your child is more relaxed.
  • Bring something for your child to listen to during the appointment (music, for example).
  • Tell the dentist in advance about your child’s feelings, so the dentist can offer your child comfort during the appointment.

Make Your Next Dental Appointment at Weninger Dentistry

Don’t let dental anxiety stop your child from seeing the dentist. Let the professionals at Weninger Dentistry help your child feel comfortable during their next dental hygiene appointment. Call today to schedule your child’s next visit.