As many as 20% of school-age children have dental anxiety. In short, that means they’re afraid of going to the dentist. But what exactly is dental anxiety?
Dental anxiety is a term that encompasses anything from nervousness about seeing the dentist to a debilitating phobia that makes it nearly impossible for someone to sit through a dental exam.
This is troubling, particularly when you consider that your child’s dental health is an important component of their overall health. Without proper dental care, our teeth can develop infections that can spread to the rest of the body or progress to chronic illness. So, it’s important that your child be able to sit through a dental appointment.
At Freedom Orthodontics in Cedar Park, Texas, your child’s dental health is our priority. So we want them to be comfortable at their dental exam. That’s why our team has compiled a handful of tips to help your child triumph over their dental anxiety.
Make sure your child knows what’s going on
Many parents believe that keeping their kids in the dark about health procedures helps ease their anxiety. Instead, this can leave them scared and confused. Experts say that children with anxiety need predictability and structure to help keep them calm.
It’s recommended that you demystify the process and let them know what to expect ahead of time. If you need help, let us know, and we can explain the procedure to your child in a way that they can understand and that makes them feel comfortable.
When it comes to your child’s anxious moments, it’s important for you to stay calm as well. Children can be quite observant, and they mimic our behavior and feed off our energy. So, it’s important that you stay relaxed and maintain perspective during your child’s appointment, to make the process as smooth as possible.
It can help your child to bring something with them to the appointment that gives them a sense of security, a game or toy to keep them occupied and to provide them with some familiarity. Distracting your child with things like electronics, games, riddles, and toys before their procedure is also helpful, and can keep them from overthinking their upcoming appointment.
Try relaxation methods
It might be a good idea to do some yoga or meditation with your child before their appointment to help keep them calm and relaxed. You could also use a portable, stress-relieving device, like a fidget spinner or modeling clay.
Ask for help
We’re happy to help in any way we can to make your child’s visit as stress-free as possible. If you anticipate that your child is going to have difficulty, let us know beforehand so we can help you both relax.
Don’t let dental anxiety keep your child from getting the dental care they need. Learn more about our pediatric dentistry services at Freedom Orthodontics. Call us or request your appointment online today.