child refuses dental treatment - pvpd

12 Ways to Ease Child’s Anxiety for Their Dental Treatment

If your child also shows signs of dental anxiety, then I am here to tell you that it’s perfectly okay. Nearly 20% of school-going children show signs of dental anxiety.  It is natural to have it. 

Your child might fidget or throw a tantrum, but as a parent, you must help your child overcome your child’s dental anxiety.

And you are not alone in that. We at Palm Valley Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics ensure that your child gets more than just specialized treatment and create lasting memories for a positive dentist-patient relationship with our expert dentists. 

However, tackling dental anxiety before walking into a clinic can be a challenge. 

And no, not taking your child to the dentist is NOT the right solution. 

To help ease dental anxiety in your child, here are some tested ways we advise parents for an incredible dental journey ahead. 

Our In-Office Anesthesia services ensure a positive visit, easing any worries your child may have.

Read: Pediatric Dental Sedation – Relieve Kids’ Anxiety For Treatment

How Do You Help Your Child Overcome Their Dental Anxiety?

Do know that you will require a lot of patience and practice with your child to help with their dental anxiety.

How Do You Help Your Child Overcome Their Dental Anxiety

But with these proven tips, you can help your child over their anxiety in no time. 

1- Identify What Makes Your Child Fearful of Dentists

The most crucial step is to identify what caused dental anxiety in the first place.

Sometimes, the fear can develop for no reason, but most times, it can be due to some other underlying experience.

Identify What Makes Your Child Fearful of Dentists

Maybe they say you flinched during your dental appointment, maybe they did not have a pleasant first dental experience, or perhaps they are afraid of dental instruments; the reasons can be endless. 

Regardless, it is essential to understand the underlying problem. 

2- Have a Pre-Meeting with your Child’s Dentist 

One of the best ways to soothe your child’s dental anxiety is to warm them to their appointed dentist slowly.

Knowing your child’s pediatric dentist beforehand is always a wise choice. 

Have a Pre-Meeting with your Child’s Dentist 

Once the child gets to have a friendly conversation with the dentist, it may help them feel more secure towards their next appointment. 

3- Try a Dentist- Patient Role Play at Home 

A natural way of expression for young children is role-play, especially when they don’t understand their emotional reactions. 

You can become a dentist and slowly familiarise your child with dental processes.

Try a Dentist- Patient Role Play at Home 

A comfortable setup like home will boost their trust and confidence when they go in for their appointment. 

Read more on Post Tooth Extraction Care: What To Avoid For Healing.

4- Visit your Dentist Regularly 

When your child has dental anxiety, restricting your visits may seem like an easy option, but it can stem new problems.

Helping your child feel more familiar with their environment allows their mind to unlearn the anxiety associated with dental visits. 

Visit your Dentist Regularly

Routine appointments can help trim down their dental fear and anxiety. 

5- Validate Their Pain and Discomfort 

Shutting them down just when they have had a tooth come out of their mouth can be discouraging for your child.

Validate child teeth Pain and Discomfort

You might want to soothe them instead. Tell them that, yes, it is painful, and they are brave to get through the treatment. 

Encouraging your child through the process and constantly having two-way conversations can help children soothe dental anxiety. 

Read  5 Best Home Remedies To Cure Tooth Cavities

6- Prepare Them Beforehand 

If your child gets fussy during the dental appointment, sit them down and have a friendly, playful conversation with them. 

Explain to them how not getting dental treatment may harm their teeth in the long run. 

7- Use Storybooks About Dental Care 

Storybooks can be a great way to help your child when he refuses dental treatment. There are some great storybooks on dental and oral care for young children.

Consciously encourage them to read the books and visualize their next dental appointments. 

8- Schedule their Naps times Before Dental Visit

A cracky kind in a dental chair can just worsen his/her dental anxiety. Not to mention the unpleasant visit it may turn out to be!

When scheduling appointment times, ensure your child is well-slept and in a good mood. 

9- Let the Dentist Know Everything Beforehand 

If your child is scared of blood and swallows everything, then you must inform the dentist immediately.

Your dentist might use a different approach to ease your child’s discomfort and pain. You also want to inform your dentist if your child is allergic to anything. 

10- Reward your Child’s Positive Behaviour 

Always positively reaffirm your child’s good behavior. Children absorb positive conditioning at a subconscious level.

Tell them they will be rewarded if they stay well-mannered at the dental office. One good way of telling that is to remind them constantly politely. 

11- Bring Toys With You 

If your child has a blanket or a stuffed toy that he/she likes, let them take it to their dental appointment. Sometimes, a small gesture can make all the difference. 

12- Use Distraction During the Appointment 

Although some parents might not encourage this, children can easily be distracted during dental procedures. One way of doing that is to use a phone, tablet, or music. 

Wrapping it Up! 

Dental anxiety and fear in children can easily be overcome if you take the right precautions and measures. It is also essential to keep your nerves in control in such tricky situations. 

Use the right words, tone, and body language to keep your child stress-free. With the right positive attitude, your next dental appointment for your child can go well. 

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