3 Important Tips on Managing Pediatric Dental Anxiety

Scared girl during a dental appointment

Treating an anxious child is a stressful experience for the pediatrician or dentist and the kid’s parent. The child’s oral health is important, but forcing a stressed, scared kid into a dentist chair is a daunting task. Besides, bad experiences at a dental facility can result in severe dental anxiety and poor oral health in later life.

Here are tips to help manage pediatric dental anxiety:

1. Explain What to Expect

Parents need to tell their children when they will be visiting a dentist and what to expect. The look of a dental facility and meeting a stranger can scare a child. Tell your kid what it’s like to have a clinician check, clean, and keep his or her teeth healthy. By giving kids basic information on what to expect during dental checkups, you can successfully put their minds at ease and help them feel comfortable.

If it’s the child’s first dental checkup, Walker Pediatric Dentistry suggests that you opt for needle-free dentistry in Salt Lake City to help the kid feel at ease.

2. Help the Child Relax

Some children become visibly anxious or report feeling anxious to the pediatric dentist just before the onset of the dental checkup. In such cases, relaxation techniques are essential. A simple deep-breathing exercise can help the child stay calm during the procedure. In addition, asking the kid to play with toys can serve as a distraction and help him stay calm.

3. Parents Can Also Get Involved

If a child is distressed, the dentist should ask the parent for assistance. Perhaps the child has exhibited anxiety in other situations and the parent might know some strategies that can help. For instance, the parent can praise the child’s performance and offer assurance that nothing bad will happen.

Other ways of managing dental anxiety include explaining the importance of good oral hygiene to children, reading dental storybooks to them, playing ‘dentist’ at home, and starting dental visits when they are young. It’s also good for you as a parent to lead by example.