Tips for Managing Your Child’s Dentist Anxiety
As soon as a child has teeth dental care is so important. Our team at Wimmer Dental Care in Centennial wants children to feel comfortable and be at ease in our care. Roughly one-half of the population has a fear of the dentist. People who are scared to go to the dentist often don’t, which can affect their dental care for the rest of their lives. But there’s lot of things you can do to help your children not be afraid or worried. Here are some tips for managing your child’s dentist anxiety.
Let Your Child Know About the Appointment
Let your child know about the dental appointment. Springing it on them at the last minute can cause more stress and anxiety. The very thing you are trying to avoid.
If they know up front, they can prepare for the visit. Ask your child if they have any questions about the dentist and answer them honestly and completely. When they’re very young, explain to them that the dentist will clean and count their teeth and going to the dentist will keep their teeth healthy and strong.
Play Pretend Dentist Office at Home
Sometimes it’s a fun learning experience to pretend to go to the dentist at home. Your child can pretend to be the dentist and look at your teeth and pretend to clean them and count them. Then you can be the dentist and make it a game.
Your child might want to pretend their stuffed animals or dolls are also going to the dentist. You can buy inexpensive toothbrushes, find a mirror, and even make an office chair into a dental chair to create your own pretend dentist office at home.
Choose a Kid-Friendly Dentist
Find a dentist that enjoys providing dental care for children. Our dentists at Wimmer Dental Care know that making a child feel at ease and having a good experience can encourage a lifetime of good dental care. Many of our young patients come to us after a not so kid-friendly experience elsewhere.
Most children love stories. There are several books written for young children about going to the dentist. Some examples are The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist, Ben Goes to the Dentist and Noah’s Visit to the Dentist. Reading these books to your child can help them understand what to expect at the dentist and relieve their stress. It also shows there is nothing to fear and is presented in a fun way.
Our staff recommends bringing in your child as soon as their first tooth appears. When they visit the dentist at a very young age, they become familiar with the dentist office and the routine, which leads to their own pleasant experience. Seeing other children, even brothers and sisters, going to the dentist can also help put their mind at ease.
Teach by Showing
You are your child’s most important teacher. If you value good dental hygiene and a beautiful smile, your child probably will too. Show them how to brush, floss and make it a fun routine. Tell them about the importance of strong healthy teeth and that dentists are like doctors for their teeth. And when they see you go to the dentist and not be afraid, it will help relieve their anxiety.
Hopefully, going to the dentist can become a less stressful event by trying these tips for managing your child’s dentist anxiety. And rest assured that our dentists at Wimmer Dental Care in Centennial will do everything possible to make it a more positive experience for your child. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, call or contact us today.