Helping Your Kids Overcome Dental Anxiety

Visiting the dental office in Park Ridge for emergency dental services, cosmetic dentistry procedures, or simply for dental cleanings can be stressful for your child. Use these tips to help reduce or prevent his fear of the dentist office:

Start Young

Dentists recommend that parents schedule their child’s first dental appointment when his first tooth appears or by the time he turns 1. Besides giving your child a good start for his oral health, bringing him to the dentist office when he is young will familiarize him with the environment and allow him to develop trust with his dentist.

Build Excitement

Presenting the dentist office as an interesting and exciting destination can help reduce your child’s anxiety. There are plenty of children’s picture books available that provide colorful and educational illustrations to help prepare your child for what to expect at the dentist office.

Stay Positive

When speaking to your child about going to the dentist, avoid words that may cause him anxiety. Instead of talking about shots or pain, inform your child that his dentist will check his smile and count his teeth. Also, communicate with your child about his trip to the dentist, rather than tell him at the last minute. Remind him each day about his upcoming appointment while avoiding details, but answer his questions with straight-forward responses.

Play Dentist

Children love playing pretend, and acting out a trip to the dentist allows you to prepare him for each step of the procedure. Experiencing the dentist visit in this way can help him understand what to expect and may reduce his anxiety about the appointment.

Keep Calm

While at the dentist, your child may fuss or cry, but it’s important for you to stay calm. When you remain composed and supportive, he is more likely to settle down, and this will also allow the staff to suggest ways to make him more comfortable. You can rest assured that they have treated plenty of anxious children and are familiar with the best ways to handle these situations.

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