Dental anxiety is one of the most commonly reported fears among children. In fact, even adults sometimes feel nervous about a dental visit. However, with help and reassurance, most children overcome their fear of the dentist.
Start Dental Visits While They’re Young
Begin scheduling your child’s first dental visit before the age of one. Seeing a dentist before the first birthday will help prevent potential problems in the future. It will also give your child a chance to see what a dentist’s office is like, easing any anxiety they may feel at future visits.
Once your child is old enough for their first dental cleaning, you should explain the importance of oral health and teach them proper brushing techniques. Show them how you brush your own teeth and how to get every surface of their teeth clean. Since children tend to imitate their parents, showing them that you take your oral health seriously will encourage them to do so as well.
Regularly scheduled dental appointments are an important part of maintaining a healthy smile. Schedule an appointment with your dentist for your child today!
Take a Comforting Item to The Dentist’s Appointment
Children can get nervous before a dental visit for many reasons, and it’s important to be understanding and supportive. Let them know that it’s normal to feel nervous before an appointment but let them know that even though you are a little nervous, you know going to the dentist is important and is the right choice for your oral healthcare routine.
Remind them that a dental office is a fun place and that getting their teeth cleaned is just as important as brushing at home. When it’s time for the procedure, ask your child if they’d like to bring their favorite toy or some headphones to listen to their favorite music.
This can help them feel more comfortable during the procedure and even afterward when they’re sitting in the waiting room. Bring along a favorite snack or drink, so they’re comfortable and calm throughout the visit.
You can also read stories about visiting the dentist with them or play pretend-dentist games with them to feel more prepared and relaxed when it comes time for their real appointment. Lead by example and take the whole family for a routine cleaning together, so everyone feels comfortable and confident in the dental chair.
Read Stories Or Play Games Involving Dentist Visits
Reading stories about visiting the dentist can be a good way to ease your child’s anxiety about going to the dentist. The more familiar they are with what happens during a visit, the less anxious they will be. Books and games for children are available everywhere, from libraries to Target. There are also a variety of apps available for kids to read and play.
You can also do pretend play with your child to help them understand how their visits to the dentist will go. Have them pretend to be the parent and “take” their teeth for cleaning! This will help them feel comfortable in the chair when you tell them it’s time for them to brush their own teeth.
Make sure you practice good oral health habits at home, too, such as brushing your teeth regularly for two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing daily. This sets a good example for your children to follow and will alleviate some of your own anxieties about going to the dentist, decreasing your likelihood of passing on those fears to your children.
To find out more about the dental services offered at Arlington Family Dental Care, call (817) 274-8439 or schedule a consultation online. You can also visit a Dentist in Arlington, TX, at 2621 Matlock Road, Suite 103, Arlington, TX 76015.