Dental Checkup Time? Addressing Dental Anxiety in Kids

Does your child experience dental anxiety? If your kids tend to worry or appear to be very nervous once they understand it is time for their regular dental checkup, know that this is very normal.

While is true that many kids do not like going to the dentist, it is often because they do not completely understand what is going on. This makes it a good idea for you to be completely open and honest about what their dental visit will be like, as when children know what to expect they are less likely to experience apprehension.

How to address dental anxiety in kids

The following is a list of some ideas that can allow parents to better help their kids deal with any anxiety they may be experiencing once they find out it is time for their regular dental checkup.

Be positive

Keeping a positive attitude is a must. Kids are smart, which means they are going to pick up on their parent's attitudes about going to the dentist. While parents can feel free to let their kids know how they felt in this situation when they themselves were children, they need to stay positive and keep the current focus on their kids.

Keep it simple

Do not go into details and instead keep everything simple. It is possible to give kids too much information, which can overwhelm them. Simply let them know that a dental professional needs to look into their mouth just to make sure that there are no problems. Let them know if they have any questions once they get there, that the dental professional will be more than happy to answer the questions.

Be mindful of language, words

Parents need to be very selective when it comes to choosing their words as they want to be sure that the language they are using is geared towards young kids. For example, when a parent tells their kid it will not hurt or that there is no reason to be scared, their kid is going to start connecting these words with dental appointments, which will only add to their anxiety.

Suggest a pre-visit

A pre-visit to a dental office is a great idea as this allows kids to ask a dental professional any questions they may have about their upcoming dental checkup.

Avoid bribes

Instead of offering kids bribes, let them know that their reward is having a healthy mouth. Let them know that when they have a healthy mouth they get to talk and eat without having any kind of dental problems. Also, let them know that they can always feel confident in their smile when they go to the dentist on a regular basis.

Are the above ideas helpful?

As every kid is different, try to imagine which one of the above ideas is going to be most beneficial for easing your child’s anxiety. If you feel that more than one idea will work, then please feel free to use as many as necessary as it is very important for your child to feel comfortable when it is time for their dental appointment. Also be sure to keep in mind your child's age, as it is normal for young kids to fuss, whine and even throw a tantrum when they need to do something they do not want to do.

Request an appointment here: or call Sonoran Desert Dentistry at (480) 439-0117 for an appointment in our Scottsdale office.

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