02 Feb 2018 Tips for helping kids not be anxious at the dentist
When it’s time for a pediatric dental checkup, you may be worried that the tears will come along with it. It’s understandable while children can experience dental anxiety, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Try these tips to make the dentist a little less painful for you and your kids.
1. Use strategic wording
Sometimes the words we use invoke negative emotions. Think carefully about the words you choose when talking to your child. Words like “hurt” or “shot” will scare your child before they even see the dentist. Use positive words like “healthy teeth” or “pretty smile” instead and see how quickly your child relaxes.
2. Be brave yourself
If your child sees you crying and whining about your dental visit, they’re going to cry and whine, too. No matter the extent of your dental work, stay positive in front of the children so that they will mimic your attitude during their kids dental checkup. If you are worried or in pain, wait to talk about it until the kids are out of listening range.
3. Make it a habit
Start taking your child to the dentist as early as possible and keep up the good habit regularly. The first pediatric dental checkup should be at the age of one. After that, you should take your child to the dentist every six months for regular checkups. If the child is familiar with going to the dentist, they won’t experience as much dental anxiety.
4. Practice good dental hygiene
Life can be hectic with young children, and sometimes good dental hygiene might slide every now and then. A child also might not know how to properly brush and floss. Insist on regular brushing and flossing every morning and every night. Brush and floss with your child until you’re positive that they can and will do it properly on their own. You can also make it fun with flavored toothpaste and toothbrushes with pictures of fun characters. Children won’t be afraid of the dentist if they take care of their teeth and avoid dental work.
5. Get to know your dentist
The staff during a kids dental checkup are used to working with children. Part of working with children is interacting with the child in a friendly way. Learn the names of the staff and dentist. Your child will be excited to see friends rather than experiencing any anxiety.