You and your kid-friendly dentist can take steps to ease your child's anxiety - and your next visit.
Many of our fears form in childhood, and fear of dentists is a popular one for both little ones and their parents. Although dental visits are critical touchstones of everyone’s oral health, entering an unfamiliar office filled with strange noises, people and equipment can contribute to children’s dental anxiety.
Signs your child is scared of the dentist - and what to do
When your kid is anxious about visiting the dentist, it can be hard for them to see past their fear. Your child may show both emotional and physical symptoms depending on their severity: peppering you with questions leading up to the visit, suddenly feeling sick or becoming sweaty, crying, complaining, or even throwing temper tantrums can all be signs of a nervous kid.
The good news is, it’s normal for children to have this fear. Although your child may pick up some of your fear about the dentist, you can also play an important role in shifting their perspective by following these tips:
Start at home
Kids like being able to predict what’s going to happen next. With this in mind, you can discuss what to expect at the dentist shortly before their first appointment.
- Give simple, concise answers to their questions. Explain that the dentist is a friendly doctor who will count their teeth and make sure they’re strong and healthy.
- Avoid telling them about your own fear or painful experiences. They don’t need to learn about wisdom teeth removal, root canals and other procedures yet.
- Avoid using words such as “shot”, “painful”, or “hurt”. The dreaded S.P.H. trifecta reinforces dental anxiety for nervous kids.
Your dentist's role
Your dentist can be an ally in easing children’s dental anxiety. At Deer Valley Dental Care, we focus on making every visit fun and stress-free for children by:
- Focusing on prevention. We aim to avert any oral health issues before they happen to ensure your child’s teeth and gums remain healthy.
- Creating a positive dental environment. A friendly team and fun games to play make all the difference and provide a distraction from nerves.
- Developing tailored treatment plans. Every child has unique requirements that need a unique dental treatment plan tailored to their growth and development. We use various approaches depending on your child's needs.