If your child suffers from fear when it comes to visiting the dentist, they’re not alone. In fact, a 2013 study found that 74% of all children suffer from moderate to severe anxiety related to dental visits. In this blog post, we discuss five ways that you can help reduce your child’s dental anxiety to ensure that they have a calm, comfortable experience at their next dentist visit.
If you’re searching for the best pediatric dental services in Wayne County, look no further than Palmyra Family Dentistry. Our dental clinic offers everything your child needs for a positive dental experience, including friendly staff, child-specific amenities, and conscious sedation options. Read on to learn how you can help alleviate your child’s dental anxiety, and get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment with our skilled and compassionate team.
Teach Your Child Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, offer an easy, medication-free way to ease children’s phobias, including dental anxiety. Before your child’s next dentist visit, teach them a simple deep-breathing exercise, consisting of deep inhalations and slow exhalations at a consistent pace. They may also respond well to progressive relaxation, which involves tensing and then relaxing the body’s muscle groups in sequence, with the eyes closed. The benefit of this technique is that it can be done in the dentist’s chair.
Keep Your Child Informed
Children do much better in potentially anxiety-inducing situations when they have a sense of what’s in store for them. Before your child’s appointment, describe what will take place and what sensations they might experience. It might also be helpful to have the dentist simulate the procedure on the parent so that the child can see what will occur. Known as the “tell-show-do” method, this technique has been proven to reduce blood pressure in children with dental anxiety compared to the non-treatment group.
Sometimes, all a child needs to help them face a tough situation is the assurance that their bravery will be rewarded. Offering praise in the form of small, tangible rewards, such as stickers or temporary tattoos, can help prevent a lifetime fear of the dentist. Your child may even come to look forward to their dentist visits as they begin to associate them with these special treats.
Opt for Sedation Services
Children with extreme dental anxiety may require sedation in the form of local anesthesia or an oral medication, including sedative pills or nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”). Our staff will make sure to adjust both of these treatments to your little one’s size and sensitives, so that they do not experience any discomfort. We recommend avoiding using words such as “injection,” “shot,” or “needle,” instead opting for something like “your tooth is being put to sleep.” We understand that parents may have concerns related to sedation dentistry. To learn more about how sedation could help your child, reach out to us today.
Choose a Family-Friendly Dentist Office
When it comes to pediatric dentistry, not all dentist offices are created equally. If your child has dental anxiety, it’s important to opt for a family-friendly dental office, where the staff has extensive experience working with children. At Palmyra Family Dentistry, we specialize in working with children and families. Both of our dentists are parents themselves, and have completed extensive dental training. We offer a safe, comfortable atmosphere featuring stereo headphones and wall-mounted TVs to allow children to relax and take their mind off of their anxiety.
Palmyra Family Dentistry is always accepting new patients in Wayne County and the greater Rochester area. To schedule a dental exam and cleaning for your child, get in touch with us today!