Dental anxiety is a feeling of unease or nervousness about dental visits or procedures. It often occurs as a result of past negative experiences at the dentist.
While some children have no trouble with appointments, others may have difficulty coping with the idea of going to the dentist. However, it is essential for the health of your child that they receive regular checkups and cleanings. Establish a positive relationship with your child’s pediatric dentist at a very young age to help them overcome their fear and anxiety about visiting the dentist. Here are some things you can do to help your child get comfortable with dental visits and events.
Often, children are nervous and anxious when visiting the dentist because they worry that waiting for an appointment will take too much time. One way to alleviate this worry is to bring your children on time for their appointment and have them sit in the waiting room until it’s time for them to be seen. This way, they will not have to wait as long and can avoid feeling worried about the amount of time they have to spend at the dental office.
Another way you can help your child is by talking to them about the appointment before they go to the office. Let them know what they can expect when they get to the dental office, such as a tour of the office and meeting a new and fun doctor. You can also tell them that the doctor will count their teeth and clean up their mouth to make them feel fresh and healthy again. This can help to relieve any fear of the unknown that children have before visiting the dentist for the first time.
When it comes time for your child’s first dental checkup, be sure to prepare them for what to expect by practicing at home. You can do things like let them watch you brush your teeth so they can learn the proper technique. You may also want to let your children play pretend with their favorite stuffed animal and practice counting its teeth. This will help to ease the stress they feel about an upcoming visit to the dentist and help them feel comfortable when sitting in a chair at the office.
If your child is anxious at the dental office, consider taking a special stuffed animal or other comfort items for them to hold during the visit. This can be particularly helpful during the first few appointments when your child is still getting used to the sights and smells of the office. Bringing along something familiar will help soothe them throughout their appointment. In some cases, children even fall asleep during their cleanings or exams!
We recommend starting your dental visits while your kids are young. Starting them before they’re old enough to be nervous will teach them that visiting the dentist isn’t something to be feared and that it’s perfectly normal and good to visit regularly.
Being a good example for your children to follow is also incredibly important. If you don’t want your little ones to have unhealthy teeth, don’t set a bad example by letting your own oral health go by the wayside! It isn’t always easy to keep up with healthy habits like brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and seeing your dentist for regular checkups. But your children will watch what you do more than they’ll listen to what you say, so it’s important to practice what you preach.
Reading books about going to the dentist can be a great way to introduce children to the idea of visiting a dentist’s office. It’s important to teach children that going to the dentist is a positive experience and an important tool for maintaining good oral health throughout life. When it comes time to actually visit the dentist for the first time, read your child a book about dentists before your visit as a fun introduction!
Many parents think that children aren’t old enough to understand how important it is to take care of their oral health. However, this is far from the truth! Even at a young age, children should be taught about how important oral hygiene is and why it’s important to visit the dentist regularly. When your children start understanding the value of good oral health, they will be more encouraged to take care of their teeth on their own and can have better health overall!
You don’t have to make a big deal about oral care at home for kids, but it can be helpful if your kids see you brushing your teeth twice a day or more. You should also take care to avoid sugary snacks and give your child water instead of soda. Teaching them to brush daily and floss properly is also important.
You can also teach your kids about the importance of visiting the dentist by talking positively about it. Don’t make it seem like a bad thing, but emphasize the importance of it to them and encourage regular checkups and cleanings. You can even make it a fun outing by taking them to play at their pediatric dental office before or after their checkup. This can help them see that visiting the dentist is nothing to be afraid of!
To learn more about maintaining good oral health, contact El Paseo Dental Clinic at (408) 370-0101 or (510) 750-1654. You can also visit our dental offices located in San Jose and Hayward in California for your dental concerns.