Dental phobias are relatively common, especially among children. Like many phobias, it’s fueled by a fear of the unknown. If kids are scared of the dentist, it can be an unpleasant experience for all parties involved. You can relieve their anxiety over going to the dentist by explaining what they can expect at each appointment. Here are a few other tips for making them more comfortable during every cleaning, exam, and dental procedure.
3 Ways to Alleviate Your Kid’s Anxiety About the Dentist
1. Practice at Home
Kids love playing “doctor,” so they’ll likely enjoy playing “dentist” too, especially if they have the right tools. Get a few child-safe, age-appropriate dental toys, and then practice giving each other exams in a recliner. You could also let them help you brush your teeth at bedtime. When kids take on the role of the dentist, they quickly realize there’s nothing scary about exams or cleanings, and they may even start begging you to schedule a “real” appointment right away!
2. Provide Emotional Support
Sometimes, kids are a lot more scared about the prospect of you leaving them alone in a sterile exam room than they are about the actual appointment. As such, staying in the room and holding your child’s hand, or even letting them sit on your lap, could mean the difference between them throwing a tantrum and remaining calm.
3. Get Technical
Older kids like to know why specific tasks are necessary, especially if they're not very enjoyable. Understanding why something unpleasant, like getting a shot or going to the dentist, is essential can ease much of the stress surrounding the event. Therefore, you can help your children overcome their fear of the dentist by reading them age-appropriate books about the importance of oral health.
For quality dental care from friendly providers who know how to put their patients at ease, take the whole family to Gregory Sy, DDS & Associates, Inc. Located in Amherst, OH, and serving the neighboring community of Lorain, OH, this practice is committed to exceeding their patients’ expectations. Dr. Gregory Sy spends ample time with every patient to ensure his team is providing the most comprehensive care possible. To request an appointment for you or one of your children, call (440) 282-9550 or reach out on their website today.
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