Going to the dentist is necessary for all children. However, it's an experience that can cause a child to feel nervous or anxious. Here are a few ways to make sure your child's visit to the dentist is as comfortable as possible.
Bring Their Favorite Toy
Make sure you pack your child's favorite toy or blanket when going to the dentist. Studies show that having a comfort item can help soothe a child, and these items can help them make it through stressful situations. Just having something familiar to hold can help a child get through an uncomfortable experience. Make sure your child chooses to bring an item that won't interfere with dental procedures. The item shouldn't be too big and should be easy to cuddle or hold while a child is having a procedure completed. Let your child know before the appointment that this item will be with them. This often helps a child feel a bit braver.
Ask Office Staff About Options
It's a good idea to talk to the office staff before your child's appointment to find out what options are available to help your child. If your child has anxiety the staff may recommend sedation to help your child relax at the dentist. Anesthesia is commonly used for certain dental procedures anyway, and it can be used if it will help your child get through the experience.
Make sure to tell the office staff your child's full medical background and what other medications he takes. This will help them find the right option for easing your child's anxiety without causing any negative drug interactions.
Practice Before the Appointment
It's true that you don't have a dental chair at home. However, you can still have a practice dental exam with your child. Role play can help kids feel more in control of a situation. It will also allow your child to ask questions and give you time to answer them before the real appointment.
Teaching your child what to expect is a great way to lower anxiety. Role playing also shows that you aren't being dismissive of your child's fears. You are willing to do everything you can to prepare your child for a positive experience.
Make your child's dental appointment as easy as possible by knowing what to do. A few tricks can make the experience memorable for all the right reasons.
If you’re a parent of an anxious child, here’s another article that might help: Tips for Helping Your Child Be Comfortable Riding a School Bus