Dental Anxiety: How Can You Manage Your Child’s Fear?

Helping Your Patients Overcome Dental Anxiety

One of the leading causes of why children will need a tooth pulled out is because they’re too into sugary sweets. Even if it’s gum, candy, or chips, having too many sugary treats can cause tooth decay. While we keep on reminding our children that overeating candy will mean that they have to go to the dentist, kids just won’t listen. 

Usually, by the age of 5, almost 50% of children will be experiencing toothaches from tooth decay. Moreover, children at this age are growing at a good pace, which means that new teeth will erupt more frequently than those in young adults and fully-matured adults.  As such, it is only customary to remind your children about brushing their teeth. 

But aside from teeth decay, children might also experience accidents, and a tooth might get chipped or lodged. If this is the case, tooth extraction or an operation to save that tooth might be needed. But whether it’s going to the dentist for a dental procedure or a checkup, kids become anxious about these ordeals.

Children will think in a different way than adults. In most cases, children are more emotional than logical. While bribing them with some ice cream and candy might help get them in the mood for going to the children’s dentist, they might still throw a tantrum.

Anxiety Management

Throughout our lives, anxiety has always been the main driver for us to do our daily tasks. Whether it’s deadlines to projects, relationships, or any aspect in our lives, too much anxiety can cause panic. You can’t deny that children are incredibly emotional and impulsive; it’s no wonder why they throw tantrums if you say that they need to see a dentist.

Compared to adults, compromising and reaching a middle ground with your child can sometimes be a complicated process. In some cases, they might catch you off-guard with their decisions. Therefore, the best ways to ‘reason’ with your child are by tapping into their emotional side. 

Sympathize with Your Kids 

Have you ever been in a situation where you think you’re the only person who’s feeling anxious? Someone starts to sympathize with you; then you start feeling a bit more relaxed. Well, that feeling is universal among since it means that we’re not alone. Tell a story to your child of how worried you were when you were a kid and how you were throwing even bigger tantrums than him/her. If you could do it as a child, why can’t he/she? 

Give your kid some time to think; this will help him think it over and calm down. Communication is a two-way street, and being able to communicate with your child builds trust and compassion.

Reward Them After the Treatment

Rather than treating your kid out before the dental checkup, you can treat them out after the process instead. That is a guaranteed way of making them happy and satisfied after the procedure. Psychologically, this will also condition them to be less anxious about future visits to the dentist. Ask your child what they want to do right after the operation: do they want to play in the arcade and watch a movie? By associating more pleasant experiences with the dental visit, they’ll be more enthusiastic instead.

Positive Programming

Other than treating your kid out right after a visit to the dentist, rewarding your child for being brave by associating going to the dentist with rewards can help through the process. Having a progressive reward system wherein your kid can get stickers, playing cards, and other toys will make them more eager to go to the dentist.

Be Transparent but Be Considerable

The best way to calm someone down is by telling them what they want to hear. But even though you might want to convince someone that’s it’s entirely not wrong, you also don’t want to lie to them. Overall, you just have to be transparent with your kid. If your kid trusts you, then I’m sure that they won’t have any problem with the whole process.

We can’t deny that when we were a child, we would be scared to go to the dentist as well. In some cases, it would take our parents hours to convince us that there’s nothing wrong with the process. Not only are you ensuring that your children won’t be scared of dental visits at an early age, but they will carry this with them when they’re older. Your children will thank you for being a great parent and giving them the courage to face the ordeal. With these pointers, we’ll be able to emotionally guide our children towards a brighter future, with even more radiant teeth. 

Meta Title: Helping and Addressing Your Child’s Dental Anxiety

Meta Description: Is your child throwing tantrums before their dental visit? Know how you can address this issue. Here are some helpful tips to calm them down.

Tags: children,tooth decay,sweets,reward,brushing teeth,dental appointment,dental checkup,operation,anxiety,calm down