How a Children’s Dentist Can Alleviate Dental Anxiety in Kids

Childrens Dentist Middletown, NY

If your child has dental anxiety, the good news is there are ways that a children’s dentist can alleviate it. Without being addressed, it can be an issue since it will cause children not to use dental care. Children are commonly afraid of the dentist. Keep reading to see what your children’s dentist can do for you.

Giving the child information

Many children will do better by having a good idea of what is going on. The child will better tolerate the procedure when the children’s dentist tells them what to expect. Before beginning, the dentist will describe to the child what will happen. The dentist might also describe any sensations that the child will experience, such as noises.

For extremely nervous children, the dentist may demonstrate on the parent first so that the child can see what will happen. This is called the “tell-show-do” procedure. That gives the child a sense of control. Plus, it allows the child to predict what will happen. One way dentists offer control is by having the child stop them at any time. That can also help build proper communication.

Using systematic desensitization

This simply means that the dentist will expose the child to the fearful part of the dentistry slowly. At the same time, the dentist will encourage them to use relaxation strategies to reduce anxiety. For instance, a child may be afraid of injections. The dentist would show the child the syringe and explain what it does.

When the child can hold the syringe without fear, the dentist may gently move it to the mouth. Then the dentist might just hold it in place for the length of an injection. The child should use relaxation strategies to prevent anxiety. Finally, the injection can be given to the child. A parent can help by scheduling a few appointments before the procedure happens.

Reinforcing positive aspects

A children’s dentist will often have rewards on hand to incentivize being brave. That might include baseball cards, stickers, or temporary tattoos. The parent can set up a system of tokens with the dentist. The child can cash in tokens for a treat from the parent after a visit to the office.

What parents can do

The parent should work with the children’s dentist to stay involved. That includes being a role model for the child. Often, children have had poor experiences in the past. But they may also have experienced anxiety from the parents. The parent should be positive and explain everything that will happen.

Reasons for fearing the dentist

Many children suffer from dental anxiety. Stopping the fear can help them have a pleasant time during the visit. The first step to doing this is to acknowledge the issue. Figuring out what is causing the child’s fear is key to finding out how to treat it. Below are common reasons for fearing the dentist:

  • Being afraid of a treatment’s side effects can start dental anxiety. Dizziness, numbness, and nausea may be temporary side effects, but these adverse effects can cause a child to worry about not attending classes or playing. Telling the children’s dentist about the child’s fear can prompt the dentist to find ways to explain the aspects of the treatment to the child. This can help the child feel more at ease.
  • Fearing pain can trigger dental anxiety. This is common among dental patients, especially children. It is important for the parent to search for a children’s dentist that prioritizes the comfort of a fearful child. Modern dentistry can make treatments and procedures comfortable and painless for children. The right dentist can provide dental care while making the child feel good.
  • Being afraid of needles is a common trigger for staying away from the dental clinic. Looking for a children’s dentist who can apply a numbing gel first before injecting an area of the mouth can help alleviate the sting and the anticipation of the sting. The dentist must also know how to distract the young patient. One good distraction is to put a TV on the treatment room’s ceiling. This can entertain the child, especially if the child’s favorite movie or show is on.

Visit a children’s dentist today

A dentist will use several of the mentioned strategies to alleviate your child’s anxiety. Remember that making the visits a positive time is an important step. When your child can relax at the dentist’s office, they will be more likely to return. This will set the stage for a healthy smile. Making an appointment with a children’s dentist today is the first step toward helping your child.

Request an appointment here: or call Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry at (845) 363-4177 for an appointment in our Middletown office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Kid Friendly Dentist in Middletown, NY.

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