Dental anxiety in children is a common problem for children as it is for adults sometimes as well. It is more acceptable for children to go through dental anxiety, especially with their first few visits to the dentist. Early visits to the dentist at a very young age can be daunting for children, and it is natural for them to feel anxious when it comes to interacting with something new. Kids need time to process new surroundings.
Luckily, as a parent or guardian, there are ways to cope with dental anxiety in children. Follow the below tips that are intended to help you adopt some measures to help reduce dental anxiety in children.
Give Your Child Plenty Of Notice
Children sometimes need time to settle into something new. If they’re due an appointment at the dentist, it is recommended that you book the appointment two to three weeks in advance. As a parent or guardian, once you’ve booked your appointment, prepare your child for their visit by limiting any anxieties they feel. Be a supportive figure before and during their appointment.
Make Them Aware Of Positive Oral Health Benefits
It is important that you educate your child on why oral health is important and help them adopt a strong oral routine. Children will naturally ask why they need to visit the dentist, and as a parent, explain to them why they need to keep their teeth and gums strong and what visiting the dentist means. Of course, ensure you communicate this with them in a tone and language that they can pick up easily.
Notify The Dentist Early
If your child is suffering from dental anxiety, it is important that you notify the dentist about this too. The dentist will ensure that the environment is catered to making your child feel safe and relaxed within the patient room. The patient room can have a ‘kiddies’ look and feel to it so your child doesn’t feel scared. Also, you may communicate certain likes and dislikes, what frightens them and what keeps them happy. This will help the dentist prepare adequately.
Be Supportive And Calm At All Times
As a parent, it can naturally become frustrating if your child cannot settle when at the dentist. As a parent or guardian, it is important that you help them remain calm and happy. If the child sees you panicking, then they will panic as well. Always be by their side throughout their appointment and compliment them on how brave they are. Always remain calm in a situation of friction and be supportive to your child.
Communicate With Them
One of the hidden tips for a child when visiting the dentist is regularly communicating with them throughout their appointment. This means keeping them positive throughout their appointment. You may also consider offering them a treat if they can see through their appointment. Remaining silent when they’re being checked by the dentist can cause anxiety. Be by their side and talk to them throughout.
Dental anxiety in children is natural, especially during their first few appointments, but for parents and guardians, it is important that you follow these tips to keep your child’s dental anxiety low before and during their appointment.
If you’re seeking further support with your child’s dental anxiety, then we are always happy to help. Simply get in touch with us at Complete Family Dental on (02) 9626 2033. Alternatively, book their appointment here.