Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Children

Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Children

Posted by HEALTHY SMILES OF BIRMINGHAM on May 4 2023, 05:54 AM

Dental anxiety is a common concern for adults and children alike. Dental anxiety can cause a child to delay or avoid going to the dentist altogether. If a child has dental anxiety and you avoid taking him to the dentist, it can cause problems down the road. Here are a few tips to help your child overcome dental anxiety.

Start a Dental Visit While They're Young

Yes, it is completely normal for young kids to feel some level of anxiety when they visit their dentists. However, if you start regular dental checkups early, you can effectively avoid this common issue. The earlier you take your child to a pediatric dentist, the better. When children go in for regular cleanings and exams, they get used to the environment, as well as the practice of being in the dental clinic. By the time children are old enough to have cavities or other problems that require treatment, they will already be familiar with the entire process and will feel a lot less anxious.

Be An Example

Please remember that you are the best example for your child, so make sure that you show them that you are unafraid of the dentist as well. As parents, we often say things to our little ones like, "Do you feel scared?" This statement makes it seem like everyone does feel this way when it really does not have to be this way at all! Instead, try saying something like, "I am excited to see how your teeth are looking right now!" Children are much more likely to follow the lead of those who they look up to the most. Be proud to show off your smile, and your kids will certainly want to copy you.

Take a Comforting Item to the Dentist's Appointment

Bring your child's comfort item, whether it's their favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or soft toy. No matter what, they will love having this item with them during their visit. If you are able to schedule your child's first dental visit at a young age, they will be more comfortable at the dentist's office and in the future.

Read Stories or Play Games Involving Dentist Visits

A great way to teach children about what happens at the dentist is to read stories about it and play games that deal with that topic. There are many children's books dealing with the dental visit experience; reading them will help your child feel less anxious before their visit.

Teach Kids the Importance of Great Oral Health

Children learn by example, so it's essential that you show them how to take care of their teeth. This may require you to change a few things in your own routine as well! You can start by setting a good example for them to follow and explaining the importance of dental health to them.

Show them how to brush and floss correctly. Make brushing a fun experience for them. Let them pick out their own toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character on it. You can even let them choose a special toothpaste flavor. Make it a bonding activity that your child looks forward to every day!

And by making flossing fun, they'll be more likely to do it regularly! You can find special gadgets to make flossing easier for kids. You can work with your dentist to get your child started on a flossing plan that will get them on the path to great oral health for life!

Practice Good Oral Hygiene At Home

You'd likely have no issue getting your child to cooperate during a dental exam if you practice good oral hygiene at home with them. Brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal as well as taking your child into the bathroom with you to show them how to properly care for their teeth, will teach them habits that will last them a lifetime. At an early age, you may even be able to start teaching them how to floss their own teeth and give them a nice reward when they do a good job! This will make regular dental cleanings and exams much easier when the time comes.

Please get in touch with us through online consultation or by calling us at (205) 875-4650, and we'll guide you further.

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