Children dread going to the dentist. There could be many reasons for this behavior. It could be due to negative dental experiences in the past, or something they learned by watching children’s shows. A relative might also influence this habit.
Dental anxiety in kids affects the dentist negatively too. Agitated kids cause disturbance to the dentist while performing dental procedures too.
Top 4 Tips On Dealing With Dental Anxiety For Kids
Fortunately, there are ways you can calm your child at the dentist. The tips on dealing with dental anxiety in kids are:
1. Use Positive Reinforcement For Oral Health
Children who have previously undergone dental procedures are more likely to experience dental anxiety. They associate the dentist with pain and discomfort due to that experience. Parents can reduce the likelihood of their child requiring dental work by emphasizing habits that will protect a child’s teeth and gums. One of the best ways to prevent the need for dental work is to floss once and brush twice daily and eat low-sugar foods. Encourage your child if they seem reluctant to brush or if they are having trouble developing good dental habits. Playing music and showing videos about brushing your teeth to your children are effective ways to teach them about good oral hygiene habits.
2. Take Your Kid’s Comforting Item While Visiting The Dentist
A small toy or favorite stuffed animal can bring comfort and ease tension. Before the appointment, you can discuss the child’s anxiety issue by calling the dentist’s office. Sometimes pediatric dentists will give the kids toys or stuffed animals to hold that won’t interfere with their work.
3. Role Play At Home
Roleplaying the dental visit with the child gives them an idea of the appointment. Let them sit on a chair and take time to show them how to brush, floss, and check their mouth. You can also let the child check your mouth. If your child is hesitant, let them play ‘dentist’ with their stuffed toys and dolls.
4. Simple Communication
Speak to the child before the appointment and explain the situation to them. They get ready for the visit knowing what to anticipate. Children usually snap when things get tough. A parent’s stern warning, however, has the power to influence their behavior.
The Bottom Line
Dental anxiety in kids causes hindrances in the dental procedures they need. The parent should acknowledge them and deal with them accordingly.
Dentists who practice pediatric dentistry are more experienced in approaching children with such problems. They are usually gentler and calmer than general dentists and might consider sedation to calm the children.