Easing Dental Anxiety for Kids

Posted on: December 8, 2017

Kid-friendly dentistLots of people have anxiety when it comes to going to the dentist, especially when it comes to children. When you take your child to the dentist, you want to know that they are in good hands. This goes beyond treating any dental ailments efficiently, it means making your child’s dental experience a positive one.

Routine dental appointments are critical to the maintenance of a child’s health. It is important that parents instill this habit in their children at an early age. Finding a kid-friendly dentist near you could positively impact the way your child views dentistry.

Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentistry focuses on making a child’s dental experience an fun, effective and comfortable one. These dentists go through specialized training with kids, use smaller instruments and usually have kid-friendly offices. These offices have bright colors, videos and toys. Our team is ready to work with children who are anxious or uncomfortable with visiting the dentist.

We will make sure that the parents/guardians have the knowledge they need to their children keep healthy smiles. We can also provide instruction and suggestions for healthy diets, snacking, and oral care habits that will prevent childhood tooth decay. Aside from choosing a kid-friendly dentist, there are steps a parent can take to help make the child more comfortable for their first dental appointment.

Tips For Helping Your Kids Feel Comfortable

 For starters, giving the child as much information possible so that they know what to expect, really does help. The transparency will help establish trust and then the patient can begin positively reinforcing the experience. Relaxation strategies are very useful for children with anxiety. These strategies help slow down the body’s physical reaction to the anxiety or fear of the dentist.

Many children will experience relief following a simple deep-breathing exercise, which involves deep inhalations and slow exhalations in a paced manner. Progressive muscle relaxation may also be helpful. This involves the child tensing and relaxing groups of muscles in sequence with his eyes closed. The child can do this in the dentist’s chair, just before the visit at home, or in the car on the way to the office.

Professional dental care is crucial to a child’s health

In terms of praise and small, tangible rewards, (e.g. stickers, temporary tattoos, baseball cards) positive reinforcement can be a useful incentive for cooperation and for “brave behavior.” You could also set up a token system with the dentist, where the child would have an opportunity to “cash in” his tokens for a small treat from you following his successful office visit.

Be positive and encouraging in your discussion of the dentist and dental visits, explain things clearly and be patient with your child as he faces his anxiety about going to the dentist. For a child to develop healthy, strong teeth, dental care is a must. Early dental care means more than good oral health and development.

Early dental care also means that the child will have the early exposure that can lead to a lifetime of strong oral care habits. These habits include home hygiene and routine dental care – without fear. This is why it is important to choose a great kid-friendly dentist and use parental techniques to help create a positive experience for your child.


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