Regular visits to your dentist are essential to ensuring a child’s health and comfort. But if your child fears the experience, even the thought of a dental exam — let alone a filling — will fill them with dread. If anxiety is making it hard to care for your child’s teeth, there are ways to handle it. Ronald L. Rasmussen DDS, an experienced family dentist in Sacramento, CA, recommends a few things you can do at home to help them overcome their panic.
5 Tips From your Family Dentist for Conquering Fear of Dental Appointments
1. Listen to Your Child
The worst thing you can do is dismiss your child's fears without addressing them. A scary situation will become more frightening if your child can’t discuss it. Ask what they're afraid of and talk about their concerns patiently.
2. Teach Them What to Expect
One of the biggest reasons kids have anxiety about dental exams is the fear of the unknown. Explain to your child what will happen during their visit to the dentist ahead of time so they can prepare. Your children's dentist even might recommend books for little ones that describe the process of an exam.
3. Act It Out
Even better than telling your child what to expect is showing them. Act out a dental visit in a fun, lighthearted way, giving your child a turn as not only the patient but the dentist.
4. Choose a Child-Friendly Dentist
Dentists who work with children know how to put them at ease. Ask your family dentist how they will help your child; the answers could range from letting them explore the office and equipment to rewards for good behavior.
5. Provide Distractions
One of the best tools for effective children's dentistry is a toy, game, movie, or other distraction to keep their mind off the procedure. Stay with your child throughout the exam and treatment to reassure them.
With help and patience, you child will overcome fears and even learn to enjoy trips to the children’s dentist. Ronald L. Rasmussen DDS offers a full range of general dentistry services, providing everything from toothache relief to dental crowns to ensure excellent oral health. To schedule an appointment, call (916) 689-1100 or make a request online.