If your child is afraid of going to the dentist, they may be suffering from dental anxiety. This condition can interfere with your child's ability to receive the dental care that they need. You can't let your child avoid the dentist forever. You need to step in and find a way to help them overcome their fear of the dentist. Here are four simple steps you can take to help your child overcome dental anxiety.
Schedule a Non-Procedural Visit
If you're going to be taking your child to a new dentist for the first time, you can help avoid the anxiety by scheduling a non-procedural visit first. This visit will allow your child to meet the staff, assistance and dentist that will be taking care of their dental needs. It can be easier for a child to deal with dental procedures when they're already comfortable to with the dental staff.
Take Them with You
Kids like to know what's going to happen to them. Sometimes all it takes is for your kids to see you going first. If it's time for you to have your teeth cleaned, use this as an opportunity to let your kids see what will happen when they go to the dentist. Once they see you have your teeth cleaned, or have x-rays taken, they'll be more likely to relax when it's time for them to have the same procedures done.
Give Them Distractions
The sounds inside a dentist's office can be a bit unnerving to small children. If your kids get anxious when they hear the dental equipment. Invest in some sound buffering head phones. When it's time for their dental appointment, attach the headphones to a handheld video game and let them enjoy a game while their dental work is being taken care of. Be sure to set the headphones up before they go into the office. That way, there won't be any chances of them hearing the noises coming from an adjoining exam room.
If you've tried everything, and anxiety is still keeping your child from receiving their dental care, you should talk to the dentist about sedation dentistry. With sedation dentistry, your child will be relaxed throughout the procedure. In most cases, your child will be able to sleep while they have their dental work taken care of.
If your child is afraid of the dentist, don't give up. There are ways to help your child overcome their anxiety. For other tips on how to help your child overcome dental anxiety, be sure to speak to a dentist like Hughes Thomas R.