What to Do If Your Child Is Afraid of The Dentist

May 9, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — okde @ 4:08 pm
Young girl at kids dentist in OKC

Squeezing dentistry into your busy life is difficult enough. It makes it even worse when your child is not enthusiastic about the appointment. Being in an unfamiliar location while strangers are poking around in their mouth can be a scary and uncomfortable experience for a child. While going to the dentist is a common fear among children, there are steps you can take to help. Read on to learn some tips from your kids dentist in OKC regarding your child and how to make a trip to the office easier and more enjoyable.

How To Make The Dentist A Less Scary Experience For Kids

For a child, being taken to the dentist can be anything other than relaxing. Here are some tips for parents of children who are not fans of receiving dental care:

Start Them Out Young

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that kids begin visiting the dentist when they get their first tooth. By slowly introducing dental instruments at a young age, they are likely to be less anxious about the experience as they get older because they will know what to expect.

Be Careful What You Say

You don’t need to give your child many details about their dental visit, especially if it’s their first time. Telling them about possibly needing a filling will cause more fear than telling them the dentist is going to check their smile.

Words associated with pain are usually best avoided as well. The majority of children will not be nearly as content going to the dentist if they think it is going to hurt.

Talk About Good Oral Hygiene

Have a conversation with your child about why it’s important to keep up with their oral health. Instead of seeing dental visits as a choice, they should see it as a necessity to keep their teeth strong and healthy.

Play Pretend

Try playing pretend at home where you are the dentist and they are the patient. This will get your child familiar with the process of having their teeth cleaned. You could start by counting their teeth or holding up a mirror to show them how a dentist may look at their mouth. Then you can switch places so they can pretend to be the dentist too!

What About Sedation Dentistry?

For those with more severe anxieties related to dental visits, sedation dentistry could be an option. Oral conscious sedation involves a small sedative in pill form that is prescribed to take prior to the visit. This type of sedation still allows the patient to answer questions, but in a more relaxed and comfortable state. A few reasons that sedation dentistry may be considered are if your child is experiencing:

  • Anxiety
  • Poor response to local anesthesia
  • Physical discomfort
  • Severe gagging
  • Lengthy procedures
  • Control issues

While visiting the dental office is a scary experience for many kids, it doesn’t need to be. Try some of these tips. Your kids dentist understands that children may struggle to come to terms with their trips to the office. Together, you can make their appointment a breeze.

About the Author

At Dental Expressions, Dr. Colin Holman and Dr. Jon Holman provide a comfortable family dental experience for all ages. They understand that many children have fears associated with dental visits and work with both parents and children to ensure the best experience possible for your child. They also offer oral conscious sedation. For more tips on children’s dentistry, visit their website or call (405) 735-6600.

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