It is perfectly normal for children to suffer from anxiety when they visit the paediatric dentist. For kids to do something new that isn’t natural to them is because they need continuity and routine. It also takes kids time to process into something that is new to them. Thankfully, there are many solutions to cure or reduce kids’ anxiety before visiting the paediatrician, and we outline what these are.
The Five Tips
In kids dentistry, being anxious about the dentist is what’s known as dental phobia. For a parent, it may make things difficult to prepare your child for their appointment, but following the tips below are intended to help. We’ve picked out five key tips that you should adopt.
Tell Your Child Early
Children sometimes need time to acclimate to something new. It is recommended you book their appointment two to three weeks beforehand as this gives you, the parent, enough time to prepare your child for their visit. This will also help you calm their anxiety.
Be A Role Model
One of the most important tips is to ensure your child follows your lead. It is also helpful that you tell them about the happy experiences of your previous appointments. Perform techniques that have helped you in the past and pass them on to your child. The more information they know about the paediatrician early, the better.
Oral Hygiene Is Important
Your child needs to be aware of why looking after teeth with good oral habits is important. Education is key and explains to them the reasons why looking after teeth with regular dental check-ups are essential for good oral health. If you want your child to look after their teeth, they need to know the reasons why. Ensure you communicate this with them in a soft language that they understand.
Inform The Dentist Early
The paediatric dentist, like for any patient, needs to prepare. It is worth notifying the paediatrician of your child’s anxiety so that they can help transform the dental room into an environment that is happy and comfortable before their appointment. Your child will need to feel calm as soon as they enter and the paediatrician will be responsible for that.
Always Stay Calm
Your child will sometimes flare up and show feelings of fear when the appointment approaches. As a parent, it is important that you stay calm. If you panic then your child will panic as well. Constantly reassure them about how important visiting the paediatric dentist is and how much of a positive experience it is.
The parent plays an important role in keeping dental phobia in children low. The paediatric dentist will have experienced all kinds of personalities and will be prepared for almost anything. Therefore, explain to the paediatric dentist the child’s likes and dislikes, what frightens them and what helps to keep them calm. The paediatric dentist will be ready to make your child’s visit to the paediatric dentist as calm and relaxing as possible. Most if not all dental practices are also recommending using laughing gas or inhalation sedation to relax children safe during the appointment if your child is still showing dental phobia. Click here to read about inhalation sedation for kids.
Garran Dental is more than happy to help you prepare your child for their appointment. Book an appointment with us and contact us to let our experienced and helpful dentists prepare you and your child.