Help Your Child Overcome Dental Anxiety

Here at Sycamore Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, we want patients of all ages to be excited about their checkups. Still, we understand that many unfamiliar sights, sounds, and people can make kids nervous. If your child is scared of the dentist, we’re here to help! Once they overcome their initial fears, most young patients realize that regular checkups aren’t anything to fear. Follow the tips below to help your child overcome dental anxiety and get excited about taking care of their smile!

Start practicing at home

Dental hygiene with your child at home helps them develop an effective oral health routine. Even if they are too young to brush or floss their teeth, you can give them an active role, like picking out a fun toothbrush or choosing the toothpaste flavor. 

Set a timer for two minutes and brush together, then finish the job for them to make sure their teeth are clean. Talk to your child regularly about ways to improve dental health and the steps they can take to protect their teeth. When kids are comfortable with a regular dental hygiene routine, dental and orthodontic visits will feel less frightening.

Keep things simple and positive

Too many details can overwhelm small children and add unnecessary anxiety. Instead, keep things on their level. Let your child know the dentist will check their smile before counting and cleaning their teeth. You can also check out online games that allow younger children to play “dentist” by interactively cleaning teeth!

When preparing your child for a dental checkup, it’s essential to keep things positive. Try to avoid words with negative connotations, like “shot,” “hurt,” or “pain.” Opt for positive phrases like “clean, strong teeth” or a “healthy smile.” This will help the child feel like there is something to look forward to rather than fear. 

Pretending is powerful

You can combat any unease your child feels about seeing the dentist by playing with them. Start by portraying the dentist and have your child be the patient. Count their teeth using numbers or letters, then hold a mirror up to show how the dentist may look around and clean the teeth. Then switch it up and let your child be the dentist, brushing your teeth for you or using the toothbrush on a stuffed animal or doll. Getting familiar with this routine can make your child’s dental visits much more comfortable!

Schedule appointments strategically  

It’s normal and age-appropriate for young children to cry, whine, or wiggle during a dental visit. Pediatric dentists are more than familiar with tantrums; our office has seen our fair share of them! If your child gets upset during a visit, stay calm, but you may also be able to lessen the chances of this happening by planning appointment times strategically. 

Schedule visits for your child’s best time, whether early morning, later afternoon, or anywhere between. Take your time getting to the office, so your child doesn’t feel rushed or anxious. If your child still takes regular naps, plan around them so they won’t be tired or cranky before arriving at our office.

Help Your Child Overcome Dental Anxiety

Pick the right pediatric dental office for your child’s needs

One of the best ways to give your child a good dental experience is to ensure you have a positive experience. To that end, choosing a dental office and provider you’re comfortable with is essential. When selecting the right pediatric dentist for your child, look for a practice with the following. 

  • A convenient location near your home, school, or work, so getting to and from visits is quick and easy 
  • Flexible appointments that fit your lifestyle and keep your stress levels way down
  • Caring and compassionate providers that have experience treating children of all ages with the highest level of care
  • Kid-friendly facilities that aren’t sterile and scary but provide a welcoming, fun, and relaxing atmosphere!

Trust your child’s smile to the experts at Sycamore Orthodontics 

We at Sycamore Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry are committed to ensuring children feel comfortable, safe, and at ease with our team. To keep your child’s dental visit interactive, we encourage them to explore (where it’s safe to do so), and we always keep open lines of communication for a rewarding dental visit all around!

Our talented team is well-versed in treating infants, children, and adolescents. We take pride in educating patients on the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene for a happy, healthy smile. If you’re in Sycamore, IL, or the surrounding area and want a positive dental experience for your child, get in touch with us today! We’ll walk you both through the process with patience, respect, and a gentle hand.