Dental anxiety is as real as it gets. It is also one of the most frequent problems when it comes to pediatric dentistry. Leaving it unattended does not just affect the state of a child’s oral health, but it also affects their entirety. Parents play a crucial role in their children’s fear of going to the dentist. If parents already have their own dental anxiety, they will naturally transfer their concerns to their kids. But how does one control their natural behavior, especially in a dentist’s office?

Understanding dental fear

A child’s fear of the dentist comes in various forms. Their anxiety may be a result of their general outlook toward anxiety. It could also be the sight or feel of different dental instruments. Dental fear can be a result of the parents’ dental concerns. Although mothers display the highest level of dental phobia, fathers often contribute more fear to their children. The level of dental fear can vary from person to person. A child’s level of anxiety might start to come out before the dental visit or even while they are in the waiting area of the dental clinic. But no matter when it happens, parents need to set the proper examples for their child to follow.

Creating a friendly image of the dentist

Little girl smiling while at the dentist

One way to help kids get rid of their dental anxiety is by promoting a positive image of the dentist whenever they visit. Familiarize them with the dental office. You can schedule them to visit the dentist once their first tooth appears. When you let your kids start early, it helps them build trust with their dentist. You should also prepare them by playing the dentist role at home. Doing so will help them better understand the necessary procedures that will happen once they visit the dentist. Make it fun by playing with a toothbrush, a chair, and a mirror. You can let your child play the dentist role and let them examine your teeth. You can even pretend that they are cleaning the teeth and vice versa.

Another way is to introduce them to dental storybooks, which can outline what they can expect from their first visit to a clinic in Fort Worth that offers dental care. Before the scheduled appointment with the dentist, you need to let your dentist know about your child’s dental anxiety. Doing so will make things smoother for everyone by alerting the office staff of your child’s condition. Also, use thoughtful language by learning about the specific vocabulary that the dentist uses. Avoid using words such as “needles” or “cavities” so that they will not get nervous about the procedure.

Fixing your child’s dental anxiety is never easy. But rewarding your kid for their excellent behavior will help create positive responses from your child later on. Remember to stay calm, especially if your child whines once they are in the dental chair. Do not forget to bring their favorite toy with them so that they will feel secure. More importantly, be an excellent example for your kid to follow.

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