Every parent wants their child to be healthy and happy, but what happens when your little one resists crucial wellness checks like dental visits? Dental anxiety can be debilitating for sufferers, and unfortunately, kids are no exception. Here are three common dental fears kids often struggle with and how you can help appointments to go smoothly.
1. Unfamiliar Faces
It’s healthy for kids to have a natural anxiety about strangers, especially in this day and age. However, when kids are afraid of the people who are trying to help them, both the care provider and your little one can become frustrated. You can help your child to avoid feeling anxious about the team at your dental office by making regular visits to the office.
Bring your child along with you to the dentist when you go in for your appointment, and be sure to point out all of the fun parts of visiting the office. Show your child the play areas, introduce your little one to the kind receptionists and dental assistants, and make a point to give your child the chance to get to know the dentist.
By visiting the office regularly, your child can get to know the staff, making dental appointments that much less intimidating. Furthermore, when kids have the chance to build friendships with dental technicians, they might be more likely to hold still throughout the exam so appointments are more productive.
2. Stark, Intimidating Exam Rooms
Sometimes, kids are nervous about the hospital-like appearance of some dental offices. Along with strange looking chairs and white walls, some practices look more like spaceships than a fun place to get a dental cleaning. You should look for a dentist with warm and welcoming office so your kids can feel right at home.
If your child is nervous about visiting the dentist, look for a practice that takes pride in creating a beautiful office. During your child’s appointment, point out the relaxing things about the practice, such as the pretty flowers at the reception desk, the neat pictures hanging on the wall, or the interesting toys in the children’s play area.
Although decorations might seem insignificant, distractions are a powerful tool for helping kids with dental anxiety, general anxiety disorders, and attention hyperactivity disorders. When they have lots of things to look at, kids can take their mind off of the fact that they are at the dentist and focus on thinking about other things instead.
3. Simple Pain
While many kids can remain calm when they are sitting in the dental chair waiting for an appointment, things can change on a dime the second a needle is introduced. However, great family dentists focus on making the entire dental care process as simple as possible, even if your child is getting something as simple as a routine teeth cleaning.
Mild anesthetics like nitrous oxide can be administered through a simple nose mask, which means your child will still be able to talk with you while they calm down. Additionally, dentists can also use topical anesthetics on the gum tissue before injection-based anesthetics are administered, soothing nerves and preventing additional pain.
Keep in mind that your dentist’s top priority is your child’s health, which means certain anesthetics may not be right for every child. However, a great dental care provider will carefully evaluate your child’s dental health and medical history to develop a treatment plan that works for them.
If your little one struggles with dental anxiety, bring them to Ashley Dental Associates, P.A. From the moment your child steps through the front door, they will be greeted with a smile and walked through every step of the appointment. To learn more about our kid-friendly approach to dentistry, stop by our office today.