How To Help Your Child Reduce Anxiety At The Dentist
A big part of pediatric dentistry is getting young patients to comply with treatment without fear. If you are an adult that is nervous about the dentist yourself, you may have passed some of your anxiety down to your child without even realizing it. Children should be going to a pediatric dentist as soon as they have teeth, and many go before they are one year old so that they can get used to the idea of someone checking the teeth in their mouth. You can help by taking your child to the dentist with you, showing your child that you are comfortable sitting in the chair, and letting the dentist take care of your teeth.
Don't Make a Big Deal Out of It
When you try too hard to keep your child calm, they know it. Take your child to a pediatric dentist and don't make a big deal out of it. If your child has questions, answer them, but otherwise treat the visit as a routine appointment. If your child is nervous, let the hygienist know of your child's anxiety, but don't talk about it in front of your child. When you are calm, your child is more likely to follow your lead.
Don't Insist on Treatment
If your child sits still long enough to let the dentist check their teeth but then struggles to sit there for a cleaning, don't insist on treatment. If your child needs dental work and is fearful of the dentist, they will need sedation for more complicated treatment. While getting a cleaning in the same appointment would be nice, you don't have to force your child to get their teeth cleaned if they are showing signs of anxiety. It will help ease your child's anxiety if the appointment stops and you schedule a new one in the near future to try again.
Find a Skilled Pediatric Dentist
When your child is very nervous about dental treatment, a pediatric dental office can make a difference over a dentist for people of all ages. Talk to the dentist about sedation options (such as nitrous oxide which can keep your child relaxed while they receive dental care. A pediatric dentist will have the skills you want to ease your child's fears.
Easing your child's anxiety at the dentist means you have to ease your own as well. If your child becomes too restless, end the appointment and schedule for another day. Sedation dentistry is available for extensive dental work, and your child will be able to get the dental care they need.