Tips for Dealing with Your Child’s Dental Anxiety

kid brushing teeth model

A lot of children are not so fond of dentists. As a parent, it can be challenging to take your little one to the clinic and make them say “ah” as a masked person sticks a piece of metal into their mouth. In reality, your child’ first dental visit is essential. This should give you an idea of your child’s overall oral health. At the same time, a dental checkup should help detect potential dental problems on the onset.

According to WebMD, little ones should have their first clinic visit when they reach 12 months or six months after the eruption of their first tooth. Most parents take their child to the dentist only when they need extraction due to tooth decay or when they knock a tooth while in the playground.

Reliable pediatric dentists in Utah suggest that this is one practice that needs to be changed. Early dental intervention is necessary for your child’s teeth and gums. This aspect of overall health, although often overlooked, plays an important role in how young people live and grow. A bright and healthy smile can help them build confidence as they socialize with people and explore opportunities. Just imagine the potential struggles and self-esteem issues a youngster can face just because he grew up with less than a perfect smile that could have been otherwise saved through proper dental care.

It now boils down to one question: how can you make your child comfortable with the idea of making regular dental visits? Here are some tips for preventing dental anxiety in your child:

Establish familiarity

Take your child to the dentist early in their life. Make regular appointments so that your child grows familiar with the pediatric dentist, the clinic environment, and the practice of dental checkups. Familiarity with a routine helps in preventing dental anxiety and building confidence and friendship with the attending dentist.

kid getting teeth cleaned by dentist

Set expectations

In the case of toddlers and preschoolers who are just about to have their first trip to the clinic, things can be more challenging. Start by explaining how a dentist can help them grow healthier teeth and why it is important to have them checked regularly. Use a little mind conditioning to make them look forward to the visit, but set realistic and child-friendly expectations. Don’t mention things such as pain, injections, blood, drills, or anything that may scare them. Explain in a positive way what happens during a dental checkup and assure them that you’ll stay by their side during the checkup.

Choose your dentist

Find an experienced pediatric dentist near your area. Choose one who has been in practice for quite some time—someone with solid experience in dealing with young patients. Check out if their clinic is child-friendly and if the staff is warm and welcoming. Ask about the scope of their treatment and service, as well as the sedation options they provide. With a friendly and experienced dentist in a positive clinic environment, your child’s dental health is in better hands.

With proper guidance, your child will grow fully aware of the need to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Keep in mind the tips mentioned above so that you can succeed in promoting a positive experience during your child’s visit to the dentist.