Ways to Ease Your Child's Anxiety of the Dentist

Ways to Ease Your Child's Anxiety of the Dentist
Posted on 09/24/2019
Child with the dentist

If your child has watched too many TV shows or movies that describe the dentist as someone frightening, it can be difficult to get them to the appointment and into the chair. Fortunately, there are ways that you can ease their concerns. The guide below offers advice for making the experience more comfortable for them.

How to Improve Your Child’s Perception of the Dentist

1. Tell Them What to Expect

Much of what makes children afraid to visit the dentist or any health care professional is not knowing what to expect. Tell them well ahead of time that they have a dental visit so they can mentally prepare. Explain what the process of teeth cleaning entails and answer any questions that they have. This helps them feel in control of the situation. Make sure to focus on the positive and fun parts about going to the dentist. This is not the time to describe an uncomfortable or painful dental experience. The child will have their teeth brushed, counted and checked to make sure that everything is healthy.

2. Schedule Routine Appointments

Dentist looking in child's mouthYou should be taking your child to the dentist for a check-up once every six months. If they only go in when they have a dental emergency, it’s no surprise that they’ll dread their appointments. Preventive care keeps them comfortable, helps them build a rapport with the staff, and avoids the need for painful restorative procedures.

3. Choose a Dental Office that loves seeing children.

Work with a family dentist who is accustomed to treating children. They will know how to engage the child in conversation to distract them throughout the appointment. They will also know how to explain matters in simple terms and when to give them positive reinforcement. Most dental offices that treat children will recommend the first dental visit by age 1.

If this is your child’s first visit to the dental office, make sure this one visit is all about them. It is best to schedule this appointment separate from other family members and at the best time of day for your child.