How to Help Your Child Cope with Dental Anxiety

How to Help Your Child Cope with Dental Anxiety

Regular dental checkups are very important for maintaining good oral health, however, dental anxiety can make many people feel uneasy about visiting the dentist. This can be a particular problem for children if they have unpleasant experiences with a dentist at a young age.

Overcoming Dental Anxiety

It’s quite understandable that many children suffer from dental anxiety, particularly at an early age. A dental practice can seem like a strange, uncomfortable place and separation from parents, combined with the physical contact from a dentist that is necessary for any dental assessment or treatment can add to the feeling of fear or unease.
Needless to say, it’s important for children to overcome fear of visiting the dentist to ensure good dental health in the years to come. Below, we share some important strategies for how to cope with dental anxiety:

Find a trusted dentist that specialises in child’s dental care

To help your child overcome anxiety about visiting the dentist, find a dentist that they can feel comfortable with. At Kids Dental at Marsh House, we run a dedicated state-of-the-art children-only dental unit that provides a colourful, child-friendly and phobia-free environment.
Our team of dentists specialise in treating children of all ages and therefore have years of experience in treatment and techniques to help kids feel comfortable when visiting the dentist. To keep the trust of your children, ensuring that they see the same dentist for every appointment can be very helpful, as they will be able to develop a rapport.

Prepare your child at home

Whilst child-friendly dentists specialise in treating young children, it’s important to prepare your children at home for what they will experience at a dental practice and manage their expectations. It’s important to ask children how they are feeling about visiting the dentist and try to explain to them what they might experience.
You can try practising some role play at home to help children get used to what they might experience in their upcoming appointment, from entering a waiting room, to opening their mouth for a dentist to check their teeth.

Talk to the dentist

As a parent, one great way to help your child overcome dental anxiety is to talk to the dentist and help them to connect with your child. By letting the dentist know more about your child and what they like doing, it makes it much easier for the dentist to talk to your child on their level and make them feel more comfortable. Providing information about your child will help the dentist to establish a relationship with your child that will help to make subsequent appointments easier.

Pain free dentistry

In the case that your child is anxious about the thought of the needles needed to administer a local anaesthetic to remove or treat teeth, pain-free dental treatment can help to ease their anxiety. The wand is a computer aided pain-free anaesthesia that is ideal for children as it numbs only the tooth being treated, rather than the entire side of the face.

Inhalation sedation

For children that are especially worried about visiting the dentist, inhalation sedation can be a safe way to help them relax whilst a dentist carries out treatment. This kind of sedation uses ‘happy air’ or ‘laughing gas’ to lessen children’s fears and help them to feel more comfortable with dental treatment.

Be calm

Perhaps the most important thing you can do as a parent to help your child cope with dental anxiety is to stay calm and be patient with them. Remember, any anxiety you feel about taking your child to the dentist may add to their unease, so try to be positive and reassuring – a calm and collected attitude spreads just as fast as fear and anxiety, so centre yourself in order to provide a positive experience for your child.

Book a Child-Friendly Dental Appointment

To arrange an appointment at our child-friendly dental unit within Marsh House, call us today on 020 8646 6300 or book online.