No matter what age, everybody will have experienced some sort of dental anxiety in their lives. For children, it is something that’s very common, particularly if they’re visiting the dentist for the first time. They don’t know what to expect, it is something new to them and they need time to adjust and get comfortable with their first appointment.
Is your child suffering from dental anxiety? This is perfectly normal. Teaching them to cope whilst they’re young can be difficult. Although, having dental anxiety can have a negative impact on their tooth development and overall oral health.
To avoid this becoming a complication as your child develops, there are some important tips you can carry out to reduce their anxiety to get them comfortable in visiting the dentist.
Book An Advanced Appointment
It takes time for children to get accustomed to something new. Therefore, if you’re seeking to book an appointment for your child at the dentist, it is recommended you book an appointment well in advance (at least two weeks). This can allow you as the parent to mentally prepare your child and allows them to process it. They may express some fears before their visit. That is perfectly normal.
Talk To Them In Their Language
When attempting to explain to your child why they’re visiting the dentist, make sure your answers are in a tone that helps them to understand better. Any questions your child may have should be answered with straight-to-the-point answers and ensure the answers you give are positive. For example, explain why a visit to the dentist is important and how they will benefit. You want your child to be happy and relaxed upon their visit.
Inform The Dentist
When the appointment approaches, it is important that you inform the dentist of your child’s anxiety. This will ensure the dentist can perform the necessary steps to make your child’s visit to the dentist is comfortable and relaxed.
Positive Reactions and Behaviours
Small tangible rewards are a great way to get your child to get on board with the dentist. Co-operate with your child and remind them of how brave they are and reward them with a sticker or their favourite toy. This can act as a small incentive to get your child accustomed to regular check-ups without feeling anxious.
Hide Your Own Anxieties
As a parent, you’re bound to be anxious about your child’s first visit as well. Anxiety can be learnt from parents and if they sense that you’re anxious, they will be just as anxious. Therefore, maintain a positive demeanour, behaviour and attitudes when you talk anything dentistry related to your child. This will make them feel much better about their visit. If you’re positive, they will be too. We understand dental anxiety is common in adults too, and we have information to help you too. Click here to learn more.
If it is time for your child to visit the dentist but they’re still showing signs of anxiety as their appointment draws near, contact us at Springvale Dental Smiles. We have many children visiting the dentist, and we know exactly what to do to make sure your child is a happy child at the dentist. We promise to reduce your child’s dental anxieties to make their appointment as relaxed and positive as possible.
Contact us here to book your child in for a check-up today!