5 Tips To Manage Your Child’s Dental Anxiety

Girl covering mouth at the dentist

Many children struggle with anxieties and nerves about going to the dentist, and as a parent, it can be challenging to manage. Routine visits to the dentist for cleanings and examinations are crucial to a growing child’s oral health, so avoiding trips to the dentist just isn’t an option.

But don’t worry! We have some advice to help you relieve your child’s dental anxieties, so they can have happy and healthy smiles for years to come:

  1. Practice makes perfect!

Familiarity can help build trust and confidence, making dentist trips much more manageable. Spending some time with your child to “practice” a dental visit can help ease their worries. Try this by having your child sit in a chair, tell them to open their mouths, count their teeth, hold up a mirror, and do other simple tasks your dentist will do. You can use a stuffed animal or a doll to act out the visit, too!

  1. Tell them what to expect.

For many kids, their anxiety mostly comes from the idea that they don’t know what will happen. So, taking the time to explain what the trip to the dentist will be like can make all the difference. Don’t miss any details, from the time you walk through the office door to when they leave with bright smiles.

  1. Avoid offering rewards.

Though this can be tempting, offering rewards for their good behavior can instead make your child expect a negative experience, thereby increasing their anxieties. The goal is to ease your child’s worries, so there aren’t any tantrums or stress when you tell them about their visit to the dentist. Rather than incentives, verbal praise after an appointment is more than enough!

  1. Explain good oral hygiene.

Kids don’t usually fully understand the need for dental check ups unless you explain it to them. Be sure to take some time to clarify that dentists help make their teeth strong and keep their smile looking great!

  1. Keep it about your child.

You may be tempted to explain your own experiences to ease your child’s nerves, but this isn’t the best idea. Too often, parents think they are helping their child but instead are passing on their own dental anxieties and potentially nerving visits. Try to keep all the attention on their visit and build up their confidence and comfort.  

Children’s Dentist in Fairfield Connecticut

If you are worried about your teeth, need a cleaning, or are experiencing any dental problems, give Fairfield Dental Arts a call at (203) 254-3780. We are your family’s dentist and can provide expert oral care for people of all ages! 

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