My Child Is Scared of the Dentist, What Do I Do?

Most people aren’t leaping out of their chairs with excitement to go to the dentist and this is especially not the case with children. About 10% of children suffer from dental anxiety or some dental phobia which causes intense fear in anticipation of going to the dentist. 

However, your child doesn’t need to suffer through dental appointments or avoid necessary dental care. Read on in this blog from Villa Park Pediatric Dentistry to find out how to make your child more comfortable.

Create a Positive Dental Impression At a Young Age

The ADA recommends that you take your child to their first dental appointment by the time they turn one year old. This is to keep them on the right oral health track, prevent oral health problems, and get them acquainted and comfortable with going to the dentist.

You can help them feel more comfortable by starting at a young age and associating the dentist with positive things. Be their dental role model by talking positively about the dentist and never speaking negatively about the dentist, such as saying that you are loathing going to the dentist yourself. 

Avoid using scary words like “needle,” “pain,” or “drill.” Read books or watch shows that emphasize the importance of dental health. Do a pretend check-up on their stuffed animal and bring it to their appointment. Anything that makes dentistry fun and positive is less likely to make them scared.

Take Your Child to a Pediatric Dentist

We recommend that you take your child to a trusted Villa Park pediatric dentist, if possible. While a general family dentist can treat children, they do not have the same specialization or training in dealing with children as pediatric dentists do. 

Family dentists are general dentists that treat patients of all ages. They have only attended four years of dental school. Pediatric dentists have undergone an additional two years of schooling and training to earn their pediatric specialty. 

Here, they learn about child development, child psychology and communication methods, as well as oral health problems that are unique to children, how to perform special surgical techniques in children, and how to administer sedation to children. 

When you bring your child to a pediatric dentist, you know they’re in the best hands. We provide a child-friendly environment and our team is full of experts in communicating with children. 

As dentists, we can appropriately explain treatments to your child so they feel in the loop and know that there is nothing to worry about. We use special communicative techniques like show-tell-do and we offer fun and effective distractions. 

Try Dental Sedation

Sometimes no matter what accommodations we have at our dental office and as trained professionals, some children still experience anxiety and stress when going to the dentist. This is the last thing you want for your child, as it can cause a negative relationship with their oral health. Dental sedation can be a very helpful tool in alleviating dental anxiety in children. 

It induces feelings of relaxation that instantly melt away stress and worry. Some sedatives enable your child to be fully conscious and responsive during treatment while others can put your child into a state of unconsciousness. 

Dental sedation is extremely safe when administered by a trained pediatric dentist. This can make the entire experience more pleasant for the child and can make the dentist work more efficiently. It also helps reduce pain sensation, gag reflex, tooth sensitivity, and restlessness.

Expert Child-Friendly Dental Care At Villa Park Pediatric Dentistry

If your child is regularly anxious when going to the dentist, know that they don’t have to feel that way. At Villa Park Pediatric Dentistry, we cater to patients with dental anxiety and special needs

We offer laughing gas, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation for our patients and provide high-quality compassionate care. To find out if dental sedation is right for your child, contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Leslie Butler.

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