Three Top Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Kids

Three Top Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Kids

Posted by Enviable Smiles

Oral Health

on Mar 23 2023, 05:31 AM

Three Top Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Kids

Dental anxiety is a common fear among adults and children. In fact, studies show that around 1 in 5 Americans suffer from dental anxiety. Dental anxiety is the fear of going to the dentist. These fears can be so severe that they prevent people from getting the dental care they need.

Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Kids

Start Dental Visits While They’re Young

Start pediatric dental appointments early – the earlier your kids visit the dentist, the more likely they are to grow up with a healthy attitude towards visiting their dental office. Pediatric dentists specialize in working with young children, so consider finding a dentist who specializes in infant oral care if your children are particularly young. Good habits early on can help prevent the need for more intensive treatments later.

Teach Kids the Importance of Great Oral Health

Learning proper oral hygiene habits should begin early in a child’s life. Brushing teeth twice a day and flossing once a day is recommended by dentists in addition to regular dental checkups and cleanings. Parents can lead by example by practicing these same healthy oral care habits in front of their children. Children observe their parents’ actions, and they are heavily influenced by them. Encourage your child to brush their teeth before bed and in the morning after breakfast. Use a fun toothbrush with a cartoon character on it to make brushing more fun for your child. Use toothpaste with fluoride in it that will help keep cavities away. Flossing should be practiced as well, but it’s recommended to do it once in the morning and once again at night before going to bed. When teaching your children the importance of great oral health, make sure they are also drinking lots of water throughout the day. Water will help flush out all of the bad bacteria from their mouth that are causing damage to their teeth. It will also help prevent dry mouth, which is another common problem that leads to tooth decay. Talk to your child about visiting the dentist regularly for routine exams and professional cleanings. They should also always follow any recommendations made by the dental hygienist during the visit. To make things a little less scary for them, take them to their checkup with you so they can become familiar with the environment beforehand. Taking them along will help them get to know the dentist and staff better and make them feel more comfortable during their actual appointment.

Explain the Process to Your Child

Many people experience some level of anxiety about visiting the dentist, but children are often particularly worried about what will happen to them during their visit. It is important to explain to your child what will happen and what they will do during their upcoming appointment. This will help to alleviate some of their anxiety, so they aren’t afraid of the unknown when they actually arrive at the dentist’s office.

Also, let your child know that they can feel free to ask any question they may have during the appointment. This can help to reassure your child that they won’t be in for any surprises and will know exactly what to expect so they are more relaxed and willing to cooperate for the best results possible.

If the pediatric dentist offers sedation dentistry for your child to alleviate dental anxiety, let them know about this as well. This way, they will know they don’t have to feel anxious or scared and can instead look forward to being relaxed throughout their appointment.

For more tips on managing dental anxiety in children, speak with our pediatric dentist today.

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