Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Kids

Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Kids

Posted by Smile City Dental on Mar 14 2023, 05:50 AM

Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Kids

Dental anxiety is a common concern for many parents. It can be scary for a child to visit the dentist, and it can be difficult to help them overcome their fears. As a parent, it's important to talk to your kids about dental care from a young age. This will help them understand why seeing the dentist is so important and help them feel comfortable as they get older. If your child has dental anxiety, here are a few tips to manage them.

Start Dental Visits While They're Young

To help your child feel comfortable at the dentist's office, we recommend taking them regularly from age one for checkups and cleanings. Once they have a positive association with the dentist, they'll be more relaxed during their own appointments! We recommend visiting a dentist as soon as baby teeth start to erupt. If they see positive experiences early on, they'll likely become more comfortable with the routine cleanings and exams over time.

Encourage Positive Experiences with Dentists by Leading by Example at Home

When you take your kids to the dentist, be sure to do so yourself as well. If you delay your own dental visit until you feel pain, they may learn that same lesson. On the other hand, if your checkups are a healthy routine that you follow consistently, your kids may adopt the same approach. Also, be sure that your whole family is brushing and flossing every day at home. Your child will mimic your actions, so make sure you're practicing good oral hygiene habits at home.

Take A Comforting Item To The Dentist's Appointment

Bringing a favorite toy or other comfort items can help your child feel more at ease at the dentist's office. Your child may be too nervous about speaking, so bringing something that they will have in their hand can feel a bit safer for them. You can also provide a snack or drink that they enjoy during the visit as well.

Read Stories Or Play Games Involving Dentist Visits

Reading stories about going to the dentist is another way to ease anxiety in children. Stories that can help include Dora and the Tooth Fairy, Curious George Goes to the dentist and Elmo's Healthy Teeth Count. There are also many children's books about visiting the dentist that you can read with your child. Playing games is another fantastic way to build excitement about an upcoming visit to the dentist. There are games that can be played online – either at home or on a smartphone during a dentist visit. 

Teach Kids the Importance of Great Oral Health

First and most importantly, parents should lead by example when it comes to oral health. Kids learn by watching and listening to their parents, so it's essential that the whole family practices great oral hygiene habits at home. Also, it's never too early to start taking your child to the dentist! Starting early will ensure your child has positive associations with dental care and will make it easier for them to take proper care of their own teeth in the future. This means fewer cavities and the need for more complex treatments like root canals and dental implants for kids. Plus, pre-visits allow Dr. Saadia to evaluate the development of your baby's teeth and ensure that they are developing normally.

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Kossi, DDS, at Smile City Dental in Santa Clarita, California, to learn more tips for maintaining a healthy smile. You can reach us by calling (661) 252-8888, scheduling an appointment online, or visiting us at 19366 Soledad Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91351 now.

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