In 2019, before the pandemic, approximately 200,419 dentists were practicing in the United States.
However, many people suffer from dental anxiety throughout the country, including children. Since children should see a dentist as early as their first tooth, it’s important to have them develop comfort with the dentist early on.
How do you go about doing this? Hiring pediatric dental care is an excellent start to helping your child overcome these fears.
Continue reading to learn how to help your child with dental fear today!
Many children suffer from dental fear for various reasons. Sadly, most become traumatized as they visit dentists that mainly deal with adults. Dental anxiety can then be carried throughout their lives.
The best way to prevent any trauma is to ensure their first dental visit is with a pediatric dentist. These dentists work with children and know how to keep them calm. Pediatric dentists have many other benefits that you can learn more about here.
Most kids are afraid of dentists and doctors in general. Many cry and become distressed once the dentist starts their procedures. Sometimes children do not even get to be treated due to the overwhelming fear.
A great way to battle this fear is to allow your child to bring their comfort item. Many children have stuffed animals or blankets that act as a calming agent. They can use their items during the appointment if they don’t interfere with the dental work.
Another great way to help ease a child’s dental anxiety is to offer a reward after the appointment. Before you visit the office, talk with your child about what they can expect at the dentist. Explain to them that they will be rewarded once they get through the appointment.
A reward to look forward to can help encourage your child to be brave and calm. Once the appointment is over, ask them what they would like as a reward. They will be excited about their treat and be ready to take on their next dental visit.
Dental anxiety is a serious issue that can become debilitating for children. Breathing exercises can reduce fear before and during the appointment. Before the appointment, sit your child down and have them try these breathing exercises.
Explain to the dentist that your child may need an occasional break if their anxiety resurfaces. Repeat the breathing exercises until your child becomes calm once again.
One of the most significant ways your child can face their fears is with your reassurance. Your support will play a massive role in how your child reacts to the dentist. Always offer supportive words and gestures so that your child understands they are in no danger.
Distractions are a great tool to use during dental appointments. These distractions can keep their mind off any fear and allow the dentist to do their job. Some good examples of distractions include:
- Fidget toys
The distraction your child chooses should never interfere with the dentist’s work. Always suggest options that won’t involve too much moving.
Helping Your Child with Dental Fear
This guide should help your child overcome dental fear. Remember to research pediatric options and always offer reassurance.
Did you enjoy this article? Don’t forget to read more of our articles to learn about other health practices!