From relieving toothaches to preventing cavities with routine teeth cleanings, a dentist for children can do a lot of good when it comes to protecting your child’s oral health. But in some cases, it can be difficult for young patients to recognize these benefits. In fact, many may become scared or anxious whenever they have to visit the dentist. Here a few ways you can help your little one feel more at ease for his or her dental visit.
How to Ease Dental Anxiety in Children
1. Give Simple Answers
Any kind of surprise during a child’s dental appointment is likely to make him/her feel uneasy. As such, it’s important to help your child feel prepared by answering any questions they may have about the experience. Give truthful answers, but avoid giving more detail than necessary, as the extra information may confuse or overwhelm your little one.
2. Find the Fun in Oral Hygiene
Reading books about kids dental care, playing dentist with dolls, and turning tooth brushing into a game are all ways to make oral hygiene a kid-friendly experience. When kids associate at-home care with fun, they will become more open to the importance of dental health—and feel more empowered when they make trips to the pediatric dentist. Some may even become excited to see their provider if they know they’ve done a good job taking care of their teeth and gums.
3. Embrace Positive Reinforcement
As an alternative to bribery, consider giving your children words of encouragement to show that you’re proud of their hard work. Once kids associate excellent pediatric dental care with positivity, they will be more likely to care about their oral health.
4. Show Support
Even when you take time to prepare your children, they may still have moments of fear at a children’s dental office. That’s why it’s important to let them know that you are supportive. When kids know their parents are positive about their visit, they’re more likely to feel safe and secure.
5. Look for a Kids Dentist
In some cases, your child may feel uneasy in the dental chair because a general dentist isn’t the right fit. If your dentist isn’t as kid-friendly as you’d like, look for a dentist for kids. As you consider your options, focus on pediatric dentistry professionals. As specialists that work exclusively with young patients, the best children’s dentists know how to take a gentle approach and employ behavior management strategies that help calm uneasy nerves.
Taking care of your kids' oral health is fun when you’re a patient of Dentistry For Kids on Oahu. Trained in pediatric dentistry, Paul K. Seo, DDS, MS understands how to simplify care and employ behavioral management techniques to keep young patients comfortable and engaged. To learn more about Dr. Seo’s capabilities, visit his practice online. If you’re in need of an appointment, call (808) 486-8881 to schedule a convenient visit to their Pearl City, HI, office.