By: Tiffany Di Giacinto, Delta Dental of Arizona
Forget ghosts and goblins, because it turns out there is something scaring many children far more: the dentist. While a smile can be contagious, unfortunately so can dental anxiety. This unhealthy habit can affect all ages and is commonly passed down from parents to children, but it doesn’t have to become a custom in your family. Find out how to prevent your child from being spooked by the dentist with these fang-tastic tips!
For many kids, the dentist office can seem straight out of a horror movie, from the smell of the office to the sound of the dentist drill. Making the environment as comfortable as possible for your child is the best way to fight off appointment day anxiety. This means bringing along their favorite familiar comforts from home that will make them feel better. This could be a toy, book or snack. At the end of the day, the scariest part about dental care is the aftereffects of avoiding it.
Don’t Be a Stranger
A great way to keep dental anxiety away is by establishing healthy dental habits and routines with your child early on – and this doesn’t just apply to dental routines at home. Children should be comfortable with their dentists and visiting them every six months to avoid fear of returning to the dentist. If your child isn’t quite ready to attend the general dentist, consider a pediatric dentist that is trained to move more quickly and efficiently than a dentist who works on adults. Pediatric dentists have the best ways to distract child patients and calm them down for an appointment.
Make It Quick
The most effective way to ease dental anxiety and keep your child’s appointments quick, easy and cavity free is by establishing an effective at home dental routine. This consists of brushing twice a day, flossing every day and having a teeth-friendly diet. When your child is familiar with their dental routine and practicing healthy habits daily, the dentist office will be a breeze, and as for the Halloween candy they bring home, it is best to teach them to enjoy it in moderation.
Watch Your Tone
Many parents can associate the dentist with past nightmares or bad experiences – when discussing visiting the dentist with your kid, it is important to have a positive tone and make sure not to convey your stress level to your kids. This will help keep kids calm and encourage the idea that the dentist is nothing to be afraid of – which is true!
Though the dentist office may give your child a fright, it is no haunted house. Establishing a positive and comfortable relationship with your dentist can relieve your dental anxiety and help you feel at ease knowing your teeth are in good hands. With so many ways to celebrate fear this October, your dentist’s office shouldn’t be one of them.
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