Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Kids

Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Kids

Dental anxiety is the fear of visiting the dentist. It can range from mild to severe. It is very common for kids and teens to have dental anxiety.

Start Dental Visits While They're Young

The best thing you can do for your child's dental health is to start taking him or her to the dentist early on in life. If you delay your child's first visit until they are two or three years old, they may develop a fear of the dentist and may never feel comfortable during a professional cleaning.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents schedule the first dental exam as soon as a child's first tooth comes in. This checkup should be followed with six-month appointments.

You should bring your child for their first professional cleaning when he or she turns one year old. The hygienist will carefully clean the teeth with a soft-bristled brush and special toothpaste. Fluoride treatment may also be administered for added protection.

These early visits to the dentist's office will help your child build a positive association with dental care. They will learn what to expect during each appointment and develop healthy brushing habits right from the get-go.

When you begin taking your child to the dentist at a young age, they will grow up knowing that each regular checkup is an important part of maintaining their overall health and well-being. This will help them make smart decisions about their oral health care well into adulthood.

Read stories or play games involving dentist visits

Children often model their parents' behavior. If they see you being nervous about going to the dentist, they probably won't be excited about their own visit either. Make them feel safe and secure by reading a book or playing a game about going to the dentist. Make it fun so they'll look forward to their next checkup.

Head's up! You don't want your child to fear dental care for the rest of their life. Be positive and reassuring about their dental visits. Your attitude will be contagious—both for your child and for their dentist. 

Teach Kids the Importance of Great Oral Health

Head's up! When it comes to dentistry in children, start early and consistently. Don't wait until a problem arises to visit the dentist for the first time. Take your child for regular checkups and cleanings. This will ensure they get comfortable with their dentist, as well as get great oral health. This will set a foundation for healthy teeth and gums for life. Plus, you'll stay on top of any potential issues early on. This will help ensure that your child has good memories of the dentist's office from childhood on. But they will need your help getting there!

Also, make sure you lead by example! Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily sets a great example for your kids to follow. Use positive language when talking about the dentist and going to the dentist's office. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation with one of our dentists today! We would be happy to discuss these treatments and determine which one is right for you. Call 925-292-1459 and book your appointment.


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