Help! My Kid is Afraid of the Dentist!June 10, 2016
Most people do not find the dentist’s office the ideal place to be. Even adult patients can be set on edge by the smells, sounds, and fears about their upcoming dental procedures. Sitting in the chair brings its own apprehensions, from the concern that something will be wrong to a fear that the lack of control that comes with having someone else working in your mouth. It’s no wonder children are often extremely frightened of their trip to the dentist.
So how do you help them get over that fear? It’s important to teach children the importance of regular dental visits and good oral hygiene, but nobody wants to terrify them in the process. Chances are, if your child doesn’t feel comfortable seeing a dentist now, they will not see one when they need to as an adult.
So how do you keep your kid from being afraid of seeing the dentist? We have a few tips for you:
Talk to them
Is it really that easy? Yes!
Take the time to talk to your child about visiting the dentist. Tell them what happens during a regular visit, and explain the importance of going in for an exam and cleaning. If they have any questions, answer them as best you can. If they know what to expect and why they are going, they will be much more comfortable during their appointment.
Take them with you
If you have a dental appointment of your own, bring your child along. Let them see how an appointment works and get familiar with the environment. It is best if you bring them to a regular examination rather than a procedure, as it will minimize the chances of them encountering frightening elements.
Find the right dentist
Not all dentists are the same. At LA Dental Town, we offer a family practice setting and specialize in putting younger patients at ease. Look for someone who has experience with young patients and knows how to help them relax and feel at ease. The right dentist will be friendly and understanding. The goal of a dentist is to form a partnership between the dentist and the patient, so finding someone who works well with your child is important.
If all else fails, there’s laughing gas
In some cases, a patient is simply too nervous to settle down during their visit. This can happen to anyone of any age, whether they are children or adults. In this case, dental sedation may be an ideal solution. “Laughing gas,” or nitrous oxide, can put anyone at ease while the dentist performs a procedure. The dreamlike effects wear off quickly, so it will not leave your child in a fog all day once you go home.
It is important to make sure your child sees a dentist regularly, helping them to form good habits for the rest of their lives and ensuring their teeth are strong and healthy. If you have any questions about helping your child get over a fear of the dentist, give us a call. We offer pediatric dentistry and we’re always happy to help young patients relax during their visit with us.