If you have young children, their oral health should be a top priority for you. But sometimes, kids get scared and don’t want to go to the dentist. This year, for National Children’s Dental Health Month, the team at Grand Mission Dentistry has put together some of our top tips for dealing with fear of the dentist.
1. Start Appointments When Your Child Is Young
Familiarity is the best way to keep your kids from fearing the dentist. Ideally, your child should start having regular 6-month teeth cleanings and oral exams as soon as their first tooth erupts.
If your child is familiar with the dentist early on, and you choose a friendly pediatric dentist like Dr. William Sung or Dr. Tam Nguyen, they will be much more comfortable when it’s time for their next dental appointment.
2. Don’t Use “Trigger Words” When Talking About The Dentist
Don’t use the “S” word (shot), “H” word (hurt) or “P” word (pain) with your children. You may want to be honest with them, but it’s best to avoid these words entirely.
Just let your child know that the dentist will clean their teeth, and make sure that they are nice and healthy. Use positive phrases and words to make the visit seem fun, good, and non-intimidating.
If your child does require a filling or another procedure which may involve pain, let your pediatric dentist explain it. Pediatric dentists are good at introducing dental concepts to children, and explaining them in a way that makes them seem non-threatening and painless.
3. Emphasize The Importance Of The Dentist To Your Child
Explain to your child that visiting the dentist is not a “choice”. It’s a necessity. The dentist needs to take care of their teeth so that they are healthy enough to chew, eat, and smile. If you can make it clear that a visit to the dentist is important and unavoidable, your child is much less likely to put up a fight, or fuss about their next visit.
4. Prepare For Some Fussing – And Stay By Their Side
If your child gets uncomfortable at the dentist, that’s okay. A little bit of crying or fussing is normal. It’s not strange for a child to cry, wiggle, or want to avoid being examined by a stranger.
Stay calm, and don’t overreact, or get angry at your child for not behaving properly. Pediatric dentists like Dr. Sung and Dr. Nguyen have seen it all.
Stay by their side, and follow the instructions of your pediatric dentist. They may ask that you hold your child’s hand and comfort them, or that you remain present, but at a distance.
5. Consider Sedation Dentistry For Serious Dental Anxiety
If your child cannot go to the dentist without breaking down, or has a serious fear of the dentist, they may have dental anxiety. If you think this may be the case, sedation dentistry is the best way to deal with dental visits.
There are many types of sedation dentistry, including IV sedation, oral conscious sedation, or nitrous oxide (laughing gas). They all do the same basic thing, and reduce fear and anxiety about going to the dentist.
Follow These Tips For A Stress-Free Dental Visit!
With these helpful tips, you’ll be able to keep your kids from fearing the dentist. But if your child does have serious dental anxiety, don’t worry. We’re here to help. With our expert pediatric dentists and sedation dentistry services, we can make sure that your child gets the oral treatment they need. Contact Grand Mission Dentistry to learn more about your options. Schedule an appointment now at (281) 789-8836, or come to our office at 8620 Grand Mission Blvd, Suite #E, Richmond, TX 77407.