Many kids (and adults!) struggle with fear and anxiety leading up to their biannual dental visits. If your child experiences dental anxiety, we’ve got some tips for you:
Familiarity helps us feel less anxious. If your child is going to be seeing a new dentist, schedule a time to visit the office together before the appointment. This introductory visit allows your child to meet their new dentist and smile team, and familiarize themselves with the office. Your child will feel more comfortable when it comes time for their actual appointment since some of the “unknown” and “newness” of the situation will be diminished.
Stay positive when it comes to talking about the dentist. Frame their visit as something they can look forward to. It may help to couple a dental appointment with a special reward afterward, like a trip to the park or the movies. Let them know why they are going (and that you regularly visit the dentist too!), what they can expect, and how they will benefit from their visit. Be encouraging and consider avoiding trigger words, such as pain, uncomfortable, fear, and needles.
Be proactive and encouraging about dental care at home. If kids understand the importance of at-home dental care and see it as a fundamental aspect of their daily routine, they’ll be more likely to think their dental visits are also important. Little rewards and incentives, like a sticker chart, are one way to do this, or try playing music or a short video while your child brushes and flosses.
We also recommend taking your child to a family dentist that has experience working with kids. At Heritage Dental in Katy, TX, we are proud to treat patients of all ages. We understand the unique needs of children and do all we can to help them feel safe and comfortable. Families love our dental sedation options and patient amenities. We have complimentary drinks and snacks in our lobby, TVs with Netflix® in our treatment rooms, and comfy pillows and blankets. Contact us today to schedule visits for your entire family!