Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Kids

Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Kids

Posted by All Smiles Family Dentistry May 18, 2023

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Dental anxiety is a common feeling of nervousness or fear related to dental visits. Some people are so affected by anxiety that they avoid going to the dentist altogether. Others experience dental anxiety so severe that they experience physical symptoms, such as sweating or nausea, before each appointment.

How To Manage Dental Anxiety In Children?

Dental anxiety is pretty common in children and can make going to the dentist difficult for them. If you're a parent, there are several ways you can help your child overcome any fear of visiting the dentist. Starting dental care early with pediatric dentists is the best way to ensure healthy teeth and gums for your little one. Here are a few tips to get started on your child's path to better oral health:

  • Start treating your child's oral health needs as early as possible. Early and regular visits to the dentist will help your child get used to the idea of going to the dentist's office. It will also allow you to identify potential problems early when they are easier to treat.
  • Giving your child some kind of comfort object to take with them to their appointment can be helpful as well. This can be a blanket they sleep with at night – so they feel like they have their "security blanket" with them at all times. It can also be their favorite stuffed animal that they give to you to hold while they sit in the chair. This can help them feel comforted and relaxed.
  • In addition, reading children's books about a dentist visit can sometimes ease fears. You can also play pretend games with your children to give them some practice at visiting the dentist. However, be sure not to make your dentist visit sound scary – even though they do clean teeth, your kids should be comfortable at their appointments.
  • Finally, be a good role model for your child by maintaining your own dental health routine. They will then see that you are serious about taking care of your teeth and might consider doing the same. Children learn behaviors from those around them, so if they see you brushing and flossing regularly, they will be more likely to do the same. 

Starting dental care early is the key to preventing cavities and other common issues as children get older. Talk to your child about the importance of oral hygiene from a young age so that they are used to the idea early on. 

To learn more, please schedule an appointment online or call All Smiles Family Dentistry at (319) 553-3085 to have a consultation with Dr. Jennifer A. Stevenson or Dr. Sarah Cyr, and we will be happy to help.

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