6 Tips to Overcome your Kid's Dentist Fear

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Is your kid afraid of the dentist? Don’t worry, it’s normal to have kids having some apprehension of visiting the dentist. What’s important is helping them face this fear or anxiety for their own benefit. Dental anxiety in kids is due to the fear of the unknown. For some kids, their previous experience must have been daunting to scare them from visiting again. For some kids, it’s the fear of needles and instruments that scare them. These fears prevent kids to get proper dental care. Dental anxiety can sometimes lead to serious panic attacks like fainting, sweatiness, choking sensation or trembling. However, dental anxiety in kids is manageable. 

Here are a few tips that will help you and your kids overcome the dentist’s fear:

1. Start Young
The earlier you tell your kids about the importance of good oral hygiene the sooner the kids can get it to practice. Explain to them how visiting the dentist will help their teeth get stronger and fight against germs. Brushing twice a day, having good breath is a necessity and not a choice. You as a parent has to be serious about oral health. Dentists suggest that you must take kids to the dentist when their first teeth appear. Inculcating the oral care regimen in the kids routine when they are young will let them get familiar with the dentist and their equipment. Create awareness by showing oral health educational videos. Under parent supervision, youtube can be a great medium for that.

2. Speak positive
Kids learn and observe what you do or say. You need to be very careful about what words you use in front of your kids. Refrain from using words like ‘shot’, ‘pain’ or ‘hurt’. Try using positive words like ‘strong’, ‘healthy’, ‘beautiful’ and positive affirmations like ‘the dentist will count your teeth’, ‘dentist will see your beautiful smile’ or ‘dentist will make your teeth stronger’. Make sure that you and your kids’ visit to the dentist is a fun activity rather than a terrifying event. 

3. Talk to your dentist
It is a good idea to visit your dentist and talk about your kid’s anxiety issues before getting your kid to the dentist. Fix an appointment, meet and explain to the dentist the reason behind your kid’s anxiety. Mostly the reason behind anxiety is the fear of needles and pain. You can also discuss the procedures that will involve during the treatment and clarify your own questions. The dentist will also explain to you how they treat kids and keep them calm with various video games and TV shows. For kids with severe anxiety issues, the dentist will explain to you about dental sedation techniques. IV sedation is a safe and pain-free technique of reducing anxiety faster. Get this dental sedation from a dentist who has an IV certification. Only once you are convinced about the dentist for your kid, you should bring your kid onboard.

4. Inhale-Exhale
Teaching your kids relaxation techniques will help them stay relaxed during the treatments. Deep breathing exercises like slow inhaling and exhaling at a steady speed will help kids remain calm during a process. It slows down bodies’ response of anxiety or fear of a dentist. Doing this exercise at home before a visit, or during the way to a dentist or on the dentist’s chair will make kids comfortable. Other than relaxing and calming, indulging in breathing exercises also distracts the kids from the dental procedure. Dental sedation is also a good way to reduce anxiety and fear. There are many sedation techniques for dental sedation, one of them is using nitrous oxide. Small safe sedate masks deliver nitrous oxide slowly and with accuracy making your kids relaxed, comfortable and letting the dentist do the procedure smoothly. The more distracted they are from the dental procedure, the less the chances of getting anxiety. Many dental clinics have kids friendly pictures, kids TV shows, and video games to keep them engaged.

5. Don’t scare them
It’s not a good idea to take your kids with you for your dentist appointment. You might think taking kids for your dental appointment would make them comfortable but NO. Seeing you getting a root canal, tooth extraction will scare them and give them the wrong idea of a dentist and dental clinic. You really don’t want them to think dental clinic as some kind of dungeon. Without you realizing, kids can sense the dental anxiety in you. So, let the kids understand and imagine dental clinics their own way. 

6. Be your kid’s best friend
Accompany your kids to the dentists. Even if you have your calendar booked, take your kid’s dental appointment in your favorable time. Your child needs your attention to make himself/herself comfortable. In other words, be your child’s best friend.

The above 6 tips will definitely help you handle dental anxiety of your kids in a better way. Every parent always wants the best for their kids. Removing the fear of the dentist and dental care would go a long way. It will allow them to maintain and flaunt their beautiful smile. Remember to appreciate and reward your kids when they accomplish a smooth dental procedure. Treat them with their favorite chocolates or take them to an ice cream parlor and let them enjoy. This way you get brownie points and they will always look forward to their next dental appointment.

Author Bio: Ross is a blogger who loves to write especially in the Health vertical. He has written many informative Blogs. He has also written blogs in other verticals too like personal development, unique gifting blogs.

Disclosure: I only recommend products or services I use or would use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Your opinions may vary from my opinions. You can also go here and read my PR and Disclosure Policies.

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