Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Is Your Child Afraid of the Dentist? 4 Steps to Calm Their Nerves

Going to the dentist is no one’s idea of a fun time, especially not a child’s. It can be an overwhelming experience at first, and some children have a hard time getting over that initial anxiety. It’s crucial for their teeth that your child is able to tolerate the dentist. These tips will help ease their nerves during dentist visits.

Find the Right Dentist

It’s absolutely important that you find a dentist who’s not only qualified but who also knows how to work with children. Check around through your social group among other parents for recommendations. You should get at least a couple names that come recommended. When you find one, discuss the needs of your children. Any worthwhile dentist should be confident in their abilities to help. Otherwise, you should look elsewhere.

Prepare Them

Dentist visits shouldn’t come as a surprise to your child. As soon as you schedule an appointment, you should tell your child. Then, you should guide them through what will happen as best as you can. Whether it’s a cleaning or getting a cavity filled, it’s important that they’re as primed as possible. You can’t promise that it will be an entirely pleasant experience. However, you can help them by letting them know they will get through it.

Talk to Them

It’s never too early to establish healthy communication between you and your children. If they’re expressing or demonstrating fears about going to the dentist, you should discuss them. Without blaming or pressuring them, ask about what they’re thinking about. It might surprise you to hear what they have to say. Let them know about your own fears (to the point that you’re able to). It can help them to feel a lot less self-conscious.

Be There for Them

Your child might fear the dentist in part because they worry that you’re abandoning them. You might know that’s inaccurate, but they could be too young to process that. Ask them how you can help. They might want you to be with them during the appointment or have another request. Follow it to the best of your abilities. As they go through more appointments, they should be better adapted.

The most important part of helping your child adapt to the dentist is to take it slowly. If they feel rushed or that you’re being impatient, it’s not going to make them feel any better. Instead, you need to take things one step at a time and celebrate the journey you’re going on together.

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