4 Tips for Alleviating Dental Anxiety in Kids

pediatric dentist

According to the Center for Health and Healthcare in Schools, children miss up to 51 million school hours annually due to dental-related problems. Proper dental care and hygiene are critical to keeping your children’s teeth healthy. Part of it may include making regular trips to the pediatric dentist.

When Should You Schedule Your First Dental Visit?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends taking your child for their initial dental appointment just after their first birthday or as soon as their first tooth appears. The trip to the pediatric dentist may be intimidating to most kids. Approximately 20% of school-going kids say that they are afraid of visits to the dental office.

Most children are afraid of meeting new people, especially if the strangers will be poking into their mouths with metallic tools. The fear may get the best of them, making them prefer missing out on basic dental care. Here are four tips to help alleviate your child’s dental anxiety.

1. Take Your Child to a Dentist for Children

The modern, sterile, minimalistic look in an adult dental clinic can intimidate any child. It can fix the wrong impression in the young minds, presenting it as a scary place. A pediatric dentist operates in a more kid-friendly environment, with walls and toys at the reception calming any alarmed child. Additionally, the dentist for kids is specially trained to work with children from infancy to their late teens. The staff is also warm and friendly, providing the kids with the attention and care they need.

2. Organize a Meet with a Pediatric Dentist Beforehand

Your child may be nervous or shy about meeting new people. You may break the ice by organizing a quick meet with the pediatric dentist. It may help provide an excellent way to make an introduction to the child. You may drop in at the dental office, allowing your child meets the dentist and the staff without heading into the examination rooms. It can help them create a rapport at the dental office to calm them the next time you visit.

3. Positive Enforcement Is Key

You may utilize a positive reward system to encourage your child to accompany you to the dentist. Heading to the movies or the park after the dental appointment can allow your child to look forward to the visit to the pediatric dentist. As they mature, your children will learn the essence of the regular trips to the dental office and won’t need treats anymore.

4. Underscore the Importance of Dental Visits

It is a part of your parental responsibility to ensure that your kid is open to proper oral hygiene practices. Pointing out the benefits of regular cleanings, fillings, teeth whitening at the dental office can help convince them. You may need to mind the language you use as “drill” “pain” may instill fear.

Most children are afraid of a trip to the family dentist. You can liaise with the pediatric dental office to help alleviate this fear and anxiety in your children. Reach out to High Tide Dental for a warm, comfortable environment for your child. We’re here to help! For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today at (207) 767-3211.