How to treat your child’s dental anxiety

How to treat your child’s dental anxiety

Does your child experience anxiety when they visit the dentist?

Read below to learn some helpful tips to relax your child before their next visit to Sunnybank Plaza Dental.

Not everyone enjoys a trip to the dentist and with no surprise, children are generally our most reluctant patients! However, your child’s oral health is a priority and regular dental visits should be on every parent’s to-do lists. If your child is experiencing anxiety before visiting the dentist, it is important to address this at a young age or it could impact your child’s dental care for the rest of their lives.

Because we want every patient (big or small) to have great teeth, here at Sunnybank Plaza Dental have put together a few tips and tricks to help you curb your child’s dental anxiety.

How do you spot dental anxiety in children?

  • Extreme tantrums at the mention of dental visits
  • A change to their normal behaviour (they could be quieter than usual)
  • Sleepless nights
  • Fidgeting on their way to an appointment
  • Mood swings before their appointment.

7 Tips for Dealing with Paediatric Dental Anxiety

Start young

We would like to meet your child as soon as their first tooth starts to emerge. Although this may seem premature, the visit may help us to detect possible dental problems that might develop at a later stage. It will also create a sense of familiarity between your child, the dentist and the environment.

Make up a game

Just like playing ‘doctor’, a good idea is to play a game of ‘dentist, patient’ at home. This can help your child get to know the basics of what to expect at the dentist. Take turns playing the dentist and patient to make it a fun experience. Once children associate the visit with positive thoughts brought on by games, they will usually be more willing to visit.

Read to them

Colourful pictures, easy to understand language and a happy dental experience for the main character, will help your child develop a better understanding of what to expect. They may even begin to become excited for their next dental appointment.

Figure out a way to communicate

Some children tend to overthink little things. While an overactive imagination is great, it could very well create fear where there is none! It is a good idea to communicate a dentist appointment with your child beforehand – if you think it will create fear and anxiety, play it off as a friendly, causal visit – which it is!

Answer questions wisely

Children are naturally curious, and they tend to ask a lot of questions about things they are unfamiliar with. Try to answer them in the simplest way possible without causing fear. For example, if they would like to know what the dentist would be doing, simply say: “They will be making sure that your teeth are strong and healthy using their special toys”, instead of, “He will be cleaning your teeth and gums with dental equipment”.

Choose a family dentist

A family dentist is experienced in dealing with kids and this can also ensure that you experience the dental care before your child does. Sometimes seeing you in the dental chair first can reassure your child that there is nothing to be afraid of.

Practice, practice, practice!

Taking care of your child’s teeth should be a routine that is consistently followed every day. Make sure that their teeth are brushed twice a day and for children over eight, flossed once per day. It is good for this to be done at a set time. You should also check their teeth to get them used to dental visits.

Children’s Dentistry | Sunnybank Plaza Dental

If your child is nervous about visiting the dentist, book their appointment with Sunnybank Plaza Dental. Our team is experienced in children’s dentistry and will do their best to make your child feel comfortable and at ease.