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How to Calm Your Child's Dental Fears

June 25, 2024
How to Calm Your Child's Dental Fears

Is your child scared to go to the dentist? Dental anxiety is very common, especially in children. But there are ways to ease your child’s fears so that they can have a more positive experience at the dentist. If you want a less stressful experience at the dentist for you and your child, here are some suggestions. 

Keep a Positive Attitude

The way you talk about going to the dentist will set the tone for the way your child feels about the dentist. If you seem concerned or afraid, your child may pick up on that and begin to mirror your feelings. Convey a positive attitude about the dentist. Talk about how the dentist helps you keep your teeth clean for a healthy smile. Explain how going to the dentist means you’ll most likely keep your natural teeth for the rest of your life. 

Answer Questions But Avoid Giving Too Much Information 

Your child is bound to have questions about going to the dentist, especially if they are going for their first visit. Answer their questions, but don’t give too much information that may cause fear or anxiety. Don’t mention needles or drills or anything that sounds painful. Just explain in the very simplest form what their experience will entail, whether it is a routine dental cleaning or a filling. 

Take Them To The Dentist On a Regular Schedule

Children should go to the dentist every 6 months to have their teeth cleaned and an oral evaluation. Keeping up with this schedule not only goes a long way toward maintaining their dental health, it helps dental visits become more routine and common in their life, making the experience less intimidating. It also helps to prevent cavities that would result in the need for fillings or other restorative procedures. 

Be a Model Patient 

As a parent it is important to model the act of going to the dentist. When your child sees that you are not afraid to go to the dentist, they are less likely to be afraid. You can allow your child to accompany you to a routine dental cleaning and oral exam, but not for any other procedures. 

Take Your Child To a Pediatric Dentist 

There are definite benefits to taking your child to a pediatric dentist. When the dentists and dental team have experience working exclusively with children, they are more prepared to help your child feel comfortable. Pediatric dentists understand that young children need compassion and patience, and they are willing to provide extra time when needed. They establish a good rapport with kids, helping them feel at ease. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Anxiety

Can sedation be used to help children relax?

We offer sedation options to help ease anxiety and allow children to relax. Nitrous oxide is the most common form of sedation used for children. It is delivered through a mask over the child’s nose. As they breathe it in, a calming effect takes over. Then it wears off quickly when the child breathes regular room air. We also offer conscious oral sedation, IV sedation, and general anesthesia. 

Are children ever restrained if they refuse to cooperate?

We don’t believe in restraining patients for any reason, as it only makes dental anxiety worse. We prefer to work with children and their parents in positive ways to deliver necessary dental care. If a child cannot relax enough to allow us to provide care, we may recommend sedation. 

Why Choose Kids & Teens Dental Place? 

We are a pediatric dental practice specializing in special needs dentistry. If your child has dental anxiety, we are prepared to provide the compassionate care necessary to help them feel comfortable. Our welcoming staff and warm office environment puts children at ease. It is our goal to make dental care fun and lighthearted so that our patients look forward to coming to the dentist. 

Contact our office today to schedule your appointment!

11041 Shadow Creek Parkway Suite 125 Pearland, TX 77584
9540 S. Main St. Ste 100 Houston, TX 77025
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