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Tricks in Pediatric Dentistry to Ease Your Child’s Dental Anxiety

An uneasy, crying child while their parents pull them into the dentist's chair is a common scenario in any young one’s dental appointment. Most children are scared of the dentist and are anxious about going for something as routinary as a check-up. Small children often imagine a dentist as someone who can physically hurt them, thanks to their wide array of intimidating dental tools. Rare is the child who finds peace and security within the confines of a dental office. Still, parents must remain patient in getting their child to fulfill their dental appointments. Here are a few things that you can do to help change your child’s attitude towards dental appointments: Let them be part of the process. Being a good role model may be the best thing you can do for your children. If you let them see that being with a dentist isn’t as scary as they think, they will sooner be able to loosen up their fears. Take your child along with you for one of your dental visits and let them see the entire process. Talk to them about what the dentist needs to do and why. You can show them how your teeth has improved and how much the dentist has helped you. Along with this, you can do some daily dental hygiene together like flossing or brushing your teeth. Make the dental experience fun and light. There is a growing number of fun learning materials such as books and videos that encourage regular dental visits for children. Make this part of your bedtime stories or playtime. It will help them feel that going to the dentist is not a big deal and is actually normal to do. Most of these dental books and learning materials make use of likable cartoon characters, making it engaging for your little one. Better yet, pretend-play a dental visit with your child. This could serve as practice before the actual dental appointment. Promote a light and friendly mood and give your child an idea of what to expect. Avoid drilling noises and using the words "painful" or "hurt." Make them feel comfortable during their dental visit. Children have the tendency to throw tantrums for the smallest reasons. Being with a dentist could mean being away from mommy or being unable to play with their favorite toys. Both instances can be devastating for a small child, so it is important to try and prevent anything that could make them feel uncomfortable. For the first few dental sessions of your child, it is important to be with them. While you can't promise that it wouldn't hurt, your presence will make a huge difference. Encourage them with phrases like "you're a big girl/boy now!" or "you're a brave kid!" to help boost their confidence and minimize fear. Practice positive reinforcement. Scolding them for not wanting to go to the dentist will just worsen their feelings about it. Instead of building fear, aspire to keep things positive. Condition their minds that going to the dentist will generate something good afterwards, be it a trip to the movies or an ice cream cone. Soon, they may associate trips to the dentist with fun family bonding time. Look for a dental office with excellent pediatric dentistry service. Look for a dental office with a little color splashed on the walls and with some toys available for kids to play with. Most white-walled offices scare children because it reminds them of hospitals and doctors. A dental office with a fun and relaxed atmosphere will make your child feel less stressful and anxious about being there. Children’s first visit to the dentist is crucial in forming their attitude towards future dental appointments. Your role as an adult is to prepare them for this very significant time when they will learn how to take care of their teeth and will meet real dentists for the first time. Find a dental office with a welcoming feel so that your child won’t be too anxious about visiting a dentist. VPreston Dental team has years of experience in handling delicate patients such as your child. Contact us for more information about how we can help you take care of your child’s dental health.