Visiting a dentist’s office can be a very anxiety-inducing event for a child. Fear of the unknown and a lack of control is a real concern for children when visiting the dentist. Will it hurt? Why do I have to lay all the way back in the chair? What are all those tools they are putting in my mouth?
The question is, how do we help a child with a fear of the dentist? Knowing the best way to prepare your child for his or her dental visit can reduce the amount of stress you and your child experience leading up to the appointment. A positive first impression will help calm a child’s anxiety at the dentist and will help build healthy habits for life.
At The Super Dentists, we are experts in employing specialists who are great with oral health but also trained to work with children.
How to Relax My Child Before the Dentist
There are a number of techniques we recommend to parents to address the concern: how do I relax my child before the dentist?
- Choose a pediatric dentist: Pediatric dentists undergo special training to learn important strategies that help children feel at ease during their dental visits. These dentists are uniquely trained in the management of preventative and invasive dental treatment for children. All pediatric dental services are provided in a child-sensitive, friendly way.
- Start Dentist Visits Early and Go Regularly: One of the easiest ways to cure your child’s fear of the pediatric dentist is to take them while they’re young and to go regularly. Your child should have his or her first dentist visit by the time their first tooth appears or no later than 12-months-old.
- Speak positively about the dentist: Say things like, “I love how my teeth feel so clean and smooth after a visit to the dentist’s office.”
- Answer questions: Let the dentist answer the detailed or complex questions your child may have. Pediatric dentists learn the non-threatening way to explain procedures to children in an easy-to-understand language.
- Play Dentist at Home: Get a molding clay dental set and have a pretend appointment in which you brush, floss and check their teeth. Make visiting the dentist’s office a fun game.
- Offer a reward: Surprise your child with something special after the appointment so he or she will be excited to return to the dentist again. For example, take them to the park or their favorite restaurant so they’ll develop a positive association with their dental visits.
- Do Not Switch Pediatric Dentists: Once you find a pediatric dentist that your child feels comfortable with, stay with that dentist. Moving your child around to different dentists and locations creates unnecessary stress and anxiety.
Special Tools to Calm a Child’s Anxiety at the Dentist
How do you help a child with fear of the dentist? The answer: by using a number of techniques proven to work in alleviating stress and anxiety.
Less Time In The Chair: The less time a child needs to spend in a dental chair, the better. The Super Dentists has created innovative, time-saving approaches to pediatric dentistry and orthodontic services,
The Wand®: Known as the “Magic Wand” at our offices, this innovative computerized device delivers anesthesia in steady doses to specific areas in the mouth. As a result, needles aren’t required to administer painkillers for regular dental procedures.
Office Designed For Kids: The Super Dentists have designed our offices specifically for kids. We have theme-park offices with superheroes, games, dress-up areas, toy stores and even our TV channel and movies starring our very own superheroes and supervillains!
Parent Resources: The Super Dentists offers important educational resources on our website, including our video library and other tools to help patients conquer their fears before ever stepping foot in our office.
Visit The Super Dentists
The Super Dentists have trained oral hygiene experts available in locations around San Diego County to answer all of your dental hygiene questions and help alleviate a child’s fears. To make an appointment for a dental checkup, please contact The Super Dentists today.
The Super Dentists’ very own oral hygiene expert, Dr. Kami Hoss, has authored a book titled, If Your Mouth Could Talk.