Does your child get anxious about going to the dentist? Or is it their first visit and they are worried about what will happen? Use these tips to help your child relax.
Don’t make the dental visit the focus of the day; instead, make it part of the day. For example, bring your child to the park in the morning to play. Stop for a light snack. Visit the dentist. On the way home, swing past the local lake to feed the ducks or your child’s favorite activity center. That way, the dentist visit will be just a routine activity in a busy, fun-filled day.
Kids pick up on adult emotions. If you start to worry that your child will become anxious, they probably will get anxious by picking up on your fearful emotions. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your child will be.
Reward Each Visit
Give your child something nice to look forward to after every dentist’s visit. This way, you’ll be reinforcing the positive. For instance, reward each visit by letting your child choose what’s for supper that night, letting them stay up 15 minutes later than usual, or letting them read in bed with a flashlight after “lights out.” Just avoid monetary rewards or physical “treats” like ice cream, as that can set up a precedent that’s unsustainable.
Consider Sedative Dentistry
If you are still having problems quelling your child’s anxiety about dentist visits, talk to your dentist about sedative dentistry for children. This is a very, very mild sedative that can help your child relax in minutes. It’s FDA-approved and has no lingering after-effects. It’s typically administered with a child-friendly inhaler that takes just a few seconds to work.
Explain the Procedure
Kids are easily scared by the unknown. If you’re looking at your child’s first dentist visit, go ahead and describe exactly what will happen. Your child will relax more when they know exactly what to expect; especially when they find out that you’ll be by their side during the entire visit.
When you help your child relax about dentist visits, you are helping to set them up for a lifetime of good oral hygiene and preventing fear of the dentist. Contact us today to book an appointment.