Dental anxiety is a common condition in people of all ages. However, parents can help their children overcome their dental anxiety from a young age. Here are some tips that can help parents manage dental anxiety in their kids.
Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Kids
A visit to the dentist can be a stressful experience for many children, and finding the right way to calm their nerves can be difficult for many parents. However, starting early and having open conversations with your child about oral health is the best way to ensure their comfort during their next visit. Use these tips to help prepare your child for their very first pediatric dentistry appointment!
- It is important to start taking children to the dentist early on in life to ensure proper education and preventative measures are being taken throughout their life. The earlier you see a dentist for your child, the sooner they will feel more comfortable at a dental office. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children visit a dentist by their first birthday. This gets them used to the environment and gives them the best chance at maintaining oral health. The dentist will be able to help with cavity prevention and avoid issues like childhood periodontal disease.
- Consider bringing a comforting item with you and your child to the dental office. This could be a blanket, stuffed animal, or other objects that can give your child a sense of security and calm when they enter the office. This is a useful tip for anyone managing anxiety during dental appointments.
- Reading a story or playing a game that involves going to the dentist can help children become more familiar with the experience. This can help them become more comfortable with the idea of seeing a dentist.
- Studies have shown that by the age of three, a child will imitate their parent’s behaviors and mannerisms. Therefore, the best way to help children learn about the importance of great oral hygiene is by setting an example for them to follow. Set a routine for yourself when it comes to brushing and flossing, and encourage your children to do the same!
- Children are very perceptive, and they will notice if you are anxious about your upcoming dental appointment as well. Avoid showing your nervousness around your child and instead keep a calm demeanor so they can mirror your actions accordingly.
- Once your child is old enough to understand, teach them about the importance of taking care of their smile. From brushing and flossing regularly to visiting the dentist for regular cleanings and exams, they should follow your family’s example. You should also lead by example by practicing good oral hygiene every day!
- An object that your child can hold in his or her hand while at the dental office can be very soothing and relaxing. The object can remind them that mom and dad are nearby and that everything will be okay. Bringing along a favorite stuffed animal or blanket can make them feel more comfortable and allow them to focus on something other than their upcoming visit with the dentist.
For a comfortable dental experience, please reach out to our dental practice in Manteca, CA, to have a consultation with our family dentist. Please call us at (209) 823-9218 or schedule an online consultation, and we'll guide you further.