Making Dental Appointments Easier for Anxious Kids

Anxiety is nothing new in the dentist’s office, but it’s important to nip it in the bud early in life. Children who have positive experiences at kids’ dental clinics may be more likely to see a dentist regularly as adults. One of the best ways to help anxious kids is to take them to a pediatric dentist in Dallas, TX. Dentists who specialize in serving young patients know plenty of tricks to help kids relax during their appointments.

Introduce your kids to dental care early in life.

Professional infant dentistry should begin no later than the first birthday—or earlier, if the child’s first tooth erupts before that point. Of course, your child won’t remember this first visit, but continuing to bring him or her back every six months will help establish positive memories to combat dental anxieties.

Maintain a positive attitude and use cheerful words.

When it’s time for another visit to the pediatric dentist, keep a cheerful attitude. Kids readily pick up on their parents’ moods, and may mimic them. Additionally, use words that won’t seem scary to your child. Your child may become overly anxious if he or she hears sentences like, “The dentist just wants to see if there are any problems with your teeth.” Instead, say, “The dentist will count your teeth and examine your beautiful smile.” If your child doesn’t ask if it will hurt, don’t mention the dreaded “H” word. It might make your child worry that it will indeed hurt. Instead of saying, “This won’t hurt at all,” say something like, “After our appointment, we’ll go out for lunch. Won’t that be fun?”

Don’t overwhelm kids with too many details.

Your child may have some questions about what will happen. Keep your answers simple and non-specific. For instance, if your child asks what happens if the dentist finds a cavity, don’t respond with an explanation about dental drills and fillings. Instead, simply say, “If there’s a cavity, your dentist will fix it and your smile will be as good as new!”

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