Many children grow up with a fear of visiting the pediatric dentist, but as a parent, you need to have a mechanism to work through such fear and stress experienced by your young one. Doing this enables them to develop into adults who aren't shaped by fear and unnecessary stress. Here is an eye-opener on dental anxiety and how to deal with it.
What Is Dental Anxiety?
The fear or stress brought about by the thought of visiting a dentist is known as dental anxiety. Seeing medical equipment such as needles is frightening for some kids and can increase these feelings. Unfortunately, this condition may lead to poor oral care in the future, e.g., dodging procedures like cleanings as the individual develops into adulthood. Thus, parents should help their kids warm up to visiting pediatric dentists at a young age. It is an excellent way of eliminating dental anxiety early.
Tell-Tale Signs Your Kids Has Dental Anxiety
While some kids do not mind visiting a dentist, some dread the visit. As a result, anxiety, stress, and fear may crowd their thoughts and emotions. To respond effectively, it is prudent to understand what triggers this condition. Here are some of the factors linked to dental anxiety in kids:
- Past personal trauma
- Painful experience with the dental practitioner
- Seeing dental tools and instruments
- Smelling a dental setting or environment
- Refraining from preventive appointments
- Inadequate preparations before dental visits
How to Deal With Kids' Dental Anxiety
Taking ample time to prepare before dental appointments is crucial in keeping dental anxiety at bay. You can chat casually with your child about what to expect at the pediatric dentist's. Whether it is a simple or complex procedure, let them know what to expect. If they have any queries, be honest while keeping your responses sensitive to their age and mindset. You can also use appropriate images to explain what to expect.
Moreover, you may use rewards to show appreciation and recognition of your young one's successful procedure. This way, they will have something to look forward to, and the dental session will no longer seem as daunting. For instance, you can get them their favorite toy or game. During the appointment, you can even have them carry their favorite toy for comfort.
Importantly, find a reputable pediatric dentist near you. This way, your child will receive expert dental care from professionals trained in caring for children.
As a parent, ensuring that your child makes it to their regular dental appointments on time and in a good headspace is important. Use positive words of encouragement regarding oral care and the benefits they will enjoy.
Talk to a dentist if you're worried about dental anxiety.