Dental anxiety is a common problem in children, and it can make dental visits stressful and difficult for both the child and the dentist. Children may develop dental anxiety for a variety of reasons, such as a previous negative dental experience, fear of pain, general anxiety, or fear of the unknown.
Here are some tips that can help children overcome dental anxiety:
- Start dental visits early: The earlier a child starts visiting the dentist, the more comfortable they will become with the experience. This can help prevent dental anxiety from developing in the first place.
- Choose a pediatric dentist: Pediatric dentists are specially trained to work with children and have experience in dealing with dental anxiety in children. Such as:
*”Tell-Show-Do”: Our pediatric dentist names, points out, and picks up an instrument during your child’s appointment. They might do anything like count your child’s fingers to further introduce them to the instrument. The tool will then be used by the dentist throughout the examination.
*Lap-to-Lap technique: This approach incorporates a parent during an examination, enabling the child to feel more comfortable during their visit. During their examination, your child will partially rest on your lap gazing towards you while their head will be in the dentist’s lap.
*Praises: During the examination, your child’s pediatric dentist will highlight items they did well. This will encourage good conduct and reassure your youngster that the exam is going well.
*Distraction: The pediatric dentist may tell a story or utilize another method to divert the child’s attention from the examination and cleaning. A simple smile or frown can be used by the child dentist as nonverbal communication to encourage good behavior and deter bad behavior.
*Participation of parents: Having a parent there at a child’s first dental visit may make the child feel more at ease.
- Use positive language: Avoid using negative or scary words when talking to children about dental visits. Instead, use positive language and explain what will happen gently and reassuringly.
- Practice relaxation techniques: Help children practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or visualization before and during dental visits to help them feel calmer and in control.
- Consider sedation: In some cases, sedation may be necessary to help children overcome dental anxiety. This can include nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or oral sedation.
Remember, the goal is to help children feel comfortable and safe during dental visits. With patience, understanding, and the right approach, most children can overcome dental anxiety and develop positive dental habits that will last a lifetime.