Dental anxiety is very common among children. However, when this anxiety is severe, it can prevent a child from receiving the dental care they need. This can lead to serious dental issues.
Start Dental Visits While They're Young
The best way to avoid dental anxiety in children is to start them early with a pediatric dentist and schedule regular checkups.
Starting children early with dental care helps them get used to the office setting and the routine of the checkup. It also provides the opportunity for any developing problems to be diagnosed and treated before they become painful and costly to fix. Additionally, children who receive care from a pediatric dentist are more likely to continue that care into adulthood.
In addition to helping your child become accustomed to visiting the dentist's office, it's also helpful to take your own comfort into consideration as well. If your child sees you being anxious when visiting the dentist, they'll be more likely to have the same reaction. That's why it's so important to remain calm during all office visits to help your children understand that it's normal for things to not always be perfect at the dentist's office.
Take A Comforting Item To The Dentist's Appointment
For many adults, simply thinking about a trip to the dentist can cause them to feel anxious and fearful, but for kids who haven't been to a dentist yet, the idea of going to the dentist can be downright terrifying! Help your child relax by taking something soothing to the dental office with you, like a favorite stuffed animal or blanket. You can also bring along some tooth-friendly snacks for your child to eat while they're waiting to be seen. Simply showing excitement about your next appointment may help your children look forward to it, too, so avoid making negative remarks about your most recent experience at the office. If they're old enough to understand simple instructions, you can also ask them to help pack their own bag with stuffed animals, toys, or their favorite blanket to help them feel more at ease during their visit. And be sure to reward them for good behavior with a sticker or small toy at the end of the appointment!
Read Stories Or Play Games Involving Dentist Visits
Reading books or playtime that encourage questions about the dentist can help prepare your child for their first appointment. Books like "Little Critter Goes to the Dentist" by Mercer Mayer are great because they illustrate positive experiences at the dentist's office, and they give children realistic expectations about what will happen at their upcoming visit. Playing games that involve going to the dentist can also help familiarize them with the idea of getting their teeth cleaned while they're awake. This is a particularly exciting activity for young children because they're unlikely to know what's coming during their next visit!
Teach Kids The Importance of Great Oral Health.
You can demonstrate the importance of good oral health to your child by leading by example. Brush and floss regularly and remember to schedule regular checkups and cleanings. If you show anxiety about dental treatments, your children may pick up on your cues and develop similar feelings. Make sure you encourage your child to visit their dentist at least twice a year! These routine appointments are essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums, which will help you avoid complications such as decay and infection.
At our office, we want to provide every patient with a comfortable and relaxing experience. We strive to make every visit as stress-free as possible for our patients, and we can do the same for you!
Give us a call to learn more or to schedule an appointment with our dentist. We look forward to speaking with you soon!
498 Harlow Rd #2, Springfield, OR 97477
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FRI - SUN Closed
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Call or Text Us: (541) 345-5363