Simple Tips for Managing Childhood Dental Anxiety

Simple Tips for Managing Childhood Dental Anxiety
Posted on 04/21/2017

As a leading provider of family dentistry in Monroe Township, Dr. Goldberg proudly provides comprehensive dental care to children. While some children enjoy coming to the dentist and even look forward to it, other children are fearful of the dentist. In fact, for some children, just the word “dentist” can cause anxiety, panic and fear.

Your child’s oral health is very important, making it essential that your child visits a dentist regularly for routine exams and any necessary dental treatment. However, forcing a scared and stressed child into a dentist chair isn't easy task to accomplish. Parents should know that dental anxiety is common among kids and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It is also important that parents know that Dr. Goldberg and his friendly and compassionate team have experience working with children who have dental anxiety. Below are a few tips that can help you keep your child from developing dental anxiety and assist in reducing any anxiety they may be feeling about visiting our office.

Start Your Child’s Dental Visits When They’re Young

We recommend scheduling a child’s first dental visit early in life, at around the time their first tooth appears, or no later than the first birthday. This way, the child will be more likely to feel comfortable & relaxed when visiting us. Early dental visits also help kids get used to the dental office environment. Regularly scheduled dental visits also help children realize that routine dental visits are just a part of life and something that they must do.

Read Positive Stories About Dentists

A good way to help kids feel safe when going to the dentist is to read them positive stories about children visiting the dentist. There are many such children’s books available that have colorful and fun illustrations, easy to understand language and stories about happy dental experiences. Three good story books to consider reading to your kids include:

The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist

Noah’s Visit to the Dentist

Elmo Visits the Dentist

Speak Positively About Visiting the Dentist 

It’s a good idea to talk to your child about an upcoming dental appointment a few days before it’s scheduled to help reduce last-minute anxiety and stress. This way, if your child is showing signs of fear and anxiety, you will have plenty of time to help prepare them for the visit. Keep the conversation simple and positive and be sure to use terms your child understands. Use positive words like “clean,” “healthy” and “strong” when talking about how the dentist will help care for your child’s teeth and never use negative words that can frighten your child like “pain” or “shots”. And be sure to encourage your child to ask you any questions he or she may have, and answer them honestly.

Teach Your Kids The Importance of Good Oral Health

It’s important to teach your kids that having healthy teeth and gums is very important. Talk to your kids about keeping their smiles healthy by doing a great job of brushing and flossing and visiting the dentist regularly for routine checkups and cleanings. And remember that your kids mimic what their parents do, so do your best to set a great example. Be sure to always speak positively about dental visits even if you happen to have some anxiety yourself over going to the dentist.

Questions? Contact Your Monroe Township Family Dentist

If you have any questions or need some more tips for helping your child feel good about visiting the dentist, don’t hesitate to contact us as we’re always more than happy to help! If it’s time for your child to see a dentist, you can reach our office at (732) 251-7722 or you can request an appointment online today. We look forward to seeing you and your child soon!