Worry and anxiety about the dentist is an issue that many people deal with. Roughly 36% of the population experiences fear or anxiety when it comes to the dentist, and children are no exception. The importance of dental health and its impact on your child’s overall health make it vital to find ways to help your child overcome the fear. Below you will find some tips on how to help your child if they are scared of the dentist.
Parent Approved Tips for Children with Dental Anxiety
Parenting is hard enough, so it’s completely understandable that your child’s fears may worry you. If your child is scared to go to the dentist, try a few of the tips below and see what works for your family.
Early Introduction to the Dentist:
Most pediatric dentists suggest bringing your child to the dentist once their first tooth erupts or by the time they turn 1, whichever occurs first. Take this as an opportunity to not only work on your child’s oral health, but also to introduce them to the way a dentist office looks, smells, and sounds. There is often a lot going on at the dentist, which can make children feel overwhelmed. Introducing children to the dentist early on creates an opportunity for them to find comfort in the area versus fear.
Talk to Your Child:
One of the best things you can do early on is talk to your child about their oral health and the dentist. Make brushing your teeth a ritual at night and talk with the about dentist. These conversations will need to be age appropriate, but most kids are responsive in understanding that there are “special doctors” that help keep their teeth healthy. This can help them understand that the dentist is not someone to fear, but someone who helps them.
Scheduling Your Hygienist:
While your child will spend some time with the dentist, they will often spend the majority of their appointment with the hygienist. Make an appointment with the same hygienist every time, so your child knows who they will see. This will help them feel comfortable and maybe even get them excited.
Research your local area and find a pediatric dentist that specializes in children’s dentistry. This can help make your child feel much more comfortable. Pediatric dentists often have offices that are kid-friendly and inviting. Finding a pediatric dentist that understands the unique challenges that come with children can help ease your fears as a parent in addition to being more enjoyable for your child.
Dentist Field Trip:
A really great way to familiarize your child with the dentist is to take a field trip to the office. Call in advance and see if you can get a quick tour to show your child where they will be and what they will be doing. This can bring comfort to your child as they will be more familiar with the space by the time they go to their first appointment.
Finding a dentist that is skilled and experienced in pediatric dentistry can make a huge difference in the trajectory of your child’s oral health throughout their lifetime. Starting healthy oral habits early has been shown to lead to better dental outcomes. Encino Family Dentist has a family-friendly atmosphere that caters to children. They even provide every child with a toy after each visit to cater to the unique needs of children.
Dr. Marian Yassa at Encino Family Dental has worked with children and families for years. She has worked with patients who have a wide variety of dental issues. Dr. Yassa and her team at Encino Family Dental are eager to help your child feel more comfortable at the dentist. Contact the office today for an appointment!