Did you know up to 36% of people in the U.S. are afraid of going to the dentist? It’s perfectly normal for your child to have a fear of the dentist. However, some key ways exist to help alleviate this fear and make dental visits more enjoyable for your child.
First, talk with your dentist about your child’s fear. Your dental team should work with you to craft a dental care plan that puts your child at ease. This includes giving your child extra time during their appointment to adjust to each new step or going during a less busy time to reduce noise and distractions.
Introducing Small Children to the Dentist
If your child is quite young, it’s a good idea to gradually introduce them to the dentist to adjust them to the experience. Once your child realizes going to the dentist is a normal part of life and not something dramatic and scary, they will likely be less anxious during their visit. Talking to your child about what will happen at the appointment can also help reduce their stress levels.
Once your child visits the dentist, please encourage them to ask questions about what’s happening. Not only do dentists love explaining the various steps of dental care, but knowing what each tool does helps turn them from something scary into a helpful device that keeps their teeth healthy.
Talk to Your Child about Their Fears
If your child has a fear of the dentist, it can help to have them talk through what about the visit scares them. Try not to downplay their worries, as this can frighten them about the encounter. Instead, talk with them about their “worst case scenarios,” like needing teeth removed or getting a cavity filled. Talk to them about how these are normal parts of caring for your teeth, and you’ll be there every step of the way.
You can also walk your child through various dental procedures, so they know what to expect and why they are important for their dental health. Once they understand that dental drills aren’t as big or scary as they think, they may be more relaxed during their visit.
Consider Sedation Dentistry
If these steps don’t work and your child has severe dental anxiety, talk to your dental team about sedation dentistry. During sedation dentistry, your child is given a relaxing medication to help them unwind before the appointment.
In severe cases like physically violent patients, your child may be fully sedated before a procedure. However, in most cases, dental sedation for anxiety is a mild medication that helps your child to relax. This can be a last resort for parents of children with extreme dental anxiety.
If you are looking for a pediatric dentist in Miami that can help with you child’s fear of the dentist, call Artistic Smiles at (305) 271-3333. Our team of professional dental experts would be happy to answer any questions you may have about your child’s dental health or dental anxiety or to help you schedule an appointment today.