Tips for Easing Your Child’s Dental Anxiety

Fear of the dentist is very prevalent in children. In fact, research has found that 42% of children experience dental anxiety. But, why? And how can we help them overcome their fear?

At Smile Country Dental in Santa Rosa or Napa, California, our team of pediatric specialists understands your child’s fear. We know the dental environment can be scary for a child. The sound of drills and seeing dental materials can cause your child to feel anxious. But there’s good news. We can help!

We recommend some powerful tips that can help your child feel at ease about coming in to see us, including:

1. Prepare your child with positivity

Communication is one of the best tools you have to prepare your child for a visit to see us. Your words can mentally prepare them and give them comfort.

Frame the upcoming appointment as a positive experience. You also want to let them know they can ask us questions, and tell them oral hygiene is “fun.” Remember, your child will feed off of your positivity and excitement about visiting the dentist.

2. Roleplay

You can play a game with your child, pretending to be the dentist and having them lie down in a chair as if they’re getting an exam. Count their teeth, give them a toothbrush, and talk to them as you look in their mouth letting them know how important it is to care for their teeth. You can also let them hold a stuffed animal.

Then when you’re finished, you can let your child be the dentist while you pretend to be the patient. This keeps it fun and interesting for your child.

3. Choose the appointment time wisely

You want your child to show up well-rested. If they still take naps, make sure they’ve had some sleep. You should also make sure they aren’t hungry. A full stomach can greatly impact a child’s happiness and mood.

4. Bring a toy

Having a favorite stuffed animal, doll, or blanket might be just what your child needs to keep them comfortable. Items of familiarity often bring calmness to children.

If your child still suffers from anxiety after trying all of the above, we can talk about other options, such as safe, harmless, conscious sedation or laughing gas.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team to walk through these steps with you. We care about your child and want to nurture a long-term relationship to give continuous care for many years to come.

To schedule an appointment, contact us at either one of our Santa Rosa or Napa locations today. We look forward to a smooth visit and helping your child feel comfortable.

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