How to Help a Kid Overcome Their Fear of the Dentist

Jan 01, 2023

The fear of the dentist is common for kids, whether it is their first dental visit or not. It prevents most of them from being comfortable in the dentist’s chair. Fortunately, you can help your kid overcome their fear of the dentist to receive appropriate dental care. Continue reading to learn how you can make a visit to the pediatric dentist near you easier for your child.

Helping Your Kid Overcome Their Fear of the Dentist

Children do not like new experiences that take them out of their comfort zones. So, a trip to the dentist, where there are new people and unfamiliar objects, can make them anxious. The pediatric dentist in Austin, TX, recommends various ways to help your child overcome fear.

For example, the dentist advises parents to take their kids to the dentist early. The first visit should take place before the child turns one. This helps kids familiarize themselves with the dentist and establish good relationships. Therefore, the child will not be fearful of the dentist.

The dentist also counsels parents against taking their kids to their dental appointments. If the parent is anxious, the child will learn the behavior. Furthermore, the sterile environment can make kids fear visiting the dentist. Also, the dentist recommends that parents teach kids the importance of good oral hygiene and care.

How to Calm My Child Before the Dentist

When your child feels apprehensive about going to the dentist, they can make the session harder. As a result, the dentist may have difficulties performing the necessary procedures. In addition, your child’s anxiety will also stress you as a parent. Therefore, it is crucial that you calm your child before seeing the dentist. You can do so using the tips below.

  1. Talk to them about the upcoming dental procedure using simple, understandable words. Answer their questions without getting into complicated details.
  2. Read them age-appropriate educational books about dental care and health. You can also watch cartoons with positive dental experiences. These help them to relate to the characters and ease their anxiety.
  3. Help them familiarize themselves with what happens at the dental clinic by playing pretend. You can be the dentist, and the child will be the patient, then switch roles. As you are playing and having fun, explain various steps in the upcoming procedure. Allow them to practice on their dolls or stuffed animals too.
  4. Ensure that they are well-rested and content before the dental treatment. Help them have a good night’s sleep before going to the dentist. When scheduling their appointment, choose a time they are likely to be less fussy. Make sure they are not hungry or need to visit the washrooms a few minutes before their session.
  5. Help them pick a comforting item and carry it to the dentist. They can bring their toy, a book, or headphones to listen to their favorite music.

Talk With Your Child About Oral Health

Conversation with your child about dental health can help them overcome their fear of the dentist. Helping them to understand the importance of visiting the dentist near you will ease their anxiety. It will also help you know the exact cause of their fear to help them better. In addition, talking helps them become more open to combat their anxiety.

When talking to your child about oral health, use small words that are easy to understand. Explain that the pediatric dentist in Austin, TX wants to make their teeth healthy and beautiful, so they last for a long time.

Do not hide any information from them but be honest about what they will experience at the dental office. Use simple words that your child understands to describe various dental procedures. For example, you can tell them the dentist will look at and count their teeth to depict oral exams. Paint a picture or use sign language to help them understand the process.

If your child fears the dentist, you need a dental team that understands and helps ease their fear. Our friendly and compassionate dental team at Lifetime Smiles Cosmetic Dentistry is ideal for all patients. In addition, we provide safe pediatric sedation dentistry for kids with dental phobia. Schedule an appointment with us for pediatric dental care.

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