Dental anxiety is a very common problem among children – and quite a few adults, for that matter! While it’s certainly ok to be a little nervous, this kind of anxiety can often lead to problems such as poor oral hygiene and even avoidance of the dentist altogether, which can put their oral health at risk. Fortunately, if your child suffers from dental anxiety, there are some things you can do to try and calm them down for their appointment. In this blog post, we will discuss four tips that can help relieve your child’s dental anxiety and make their visit to the dentist a more positive experience.
1) Prepare Your Child Ahead of Time
One of the best things you can do to help reduce your child’s anxiety is to prepare them ahead of time. Try talking to them about what they can expect during their visit in a way that’s both informative and reassuring.
This could include explaining the types of tools the dentist might use, the kinds of questions they may ask and even showing them pictures of a dental office. You could also watch educational videos together or read books about going to the dentist. This will help them feel more in control and relaxed when they get there.
2) Make the Visit Fun
Another great way to make the visit to the dentist more enjoyable for your child is by turning it into a game. You could create a checklist of all the different things they will need to do and let them cross off each item as it gets completed. You could also bring along their favorite stuffed animal or blanket to help them feel more at ease in the dentist’s chair.
Additionally, if you can find a dentist who has experience working with young children, they may be able to offer some fun activities while the appointment is underway.
3) Use Distraction Techniques
Distraction techniques can also be a great way to help your child relax during their visit. Listening to music, playing games on a smartphone or tablet and even bringing along a favourite toy can all help to keep their mind off the appointment and make it more enjoyable.
4) Keep Calm and Positive
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to help your child stay calm is to remain positive and relaxed yourself. It’s natural for children to take cues from their parents, so if you are anxious or stressed, they may just pick up on that and act that way too
Be sure to stay calm and smile throughout the appointment in order to help them stay relaxed and focused on the task at hand. It can also help to use positive words and affirmations like “you’re doing great!” or “we’ll get through this together.”
The Bottom Line
Many children get nervous at the dentist. However, by following these four tips, you can help make their visit more enjoyable and less stressful. From talking to them ahead of time to using distraction techniques, there are plenty of ways to relieve your child’s dental anxiety and make the experience much more pleasant for everyone involved. Good luck!
Is your child due for a dental appointment? You’ve come to the right place! Click here to get in touch with Shelburne Village Dental, and book an appointment with us today.