As a parent, you know that regular dental visits are important for keeping your child’s teeth healthy, yet it is normal for a child to be apprehensive about their upcoming appointment. For this reason, it is important to choose a children’s dentist who has undergone extensive training beyond regular dental school that includes techniques specifically developed for calming fidgety children. In addition to your dentist selection, you can implement the following three strategies that will ease your child’s dental anxiety and have them looking forward to their next visit.
Visit Your Local Dentist Office Beforehand
Children are sometimes nervous about the dentist because they are unsure of how to respond in a strange environment with new people. When you call your children’s dentist for an appointment, ask if you can stop by the day before and introduce your child to the staff. This way, they will already be comfortable with the environment before they sit in the dental chair.
Let Them Practice
Young children learn through role-playing, and acting out a make-believe dental visit is an ideal way to help ease their jitters. As you do so, talk about some of the things that may be done at the dentist to promote good dental hygiene such as tooth polishing and flossing. Then, have your child pretend to perform these actions on a stuffed toy or family member so that they can begin to understand what will happen at their appointment.
Bring a Comfort Item
Your local dentist office should already be set up to be kid-friendly, yet having a familiar item nearby can help your child relax. Young children may prefer to hold a stuffed animal on their lap as the children’s dentist performs their exam or they receive dental hygiene services. Older children and teens may prefer to listen to their favorite music to drown out the sound of the drill. Talk to your child about what might make them feel comfortable, and encourage them to bring it along for a little extra security.
After several appointments, your child will naturally become more comfortable as they get acquainted with their dentist. Yet, they may still experience some anxiety occasionally, especially when they need a new type of dental care. If you would like to know more about how to prepare your child for an appointment, then call our dental office today so our staff can share some ideas.