Apart from the regular check-ups and cleanings, the time will come when most children face the reality of dental procedures such as fillings or tooth extractions. This can be a very scary thing for a young child, especially when the parents are showing signs of fear and tension based on experiences they may have had as a child. Will the dental procedure go bad? Will the child end up screaming loudly for all the dental office to hear? Sometimes this can provoke more apprehension in the parent than in the child.
These are some of the things you can do to ease dental anxiety.
Fortunately, there’re some simple steps that parents can use to help their children and themselves feel more at ease in the dentist’s chair. When fear and anxiety are kept in check and under control, the dental experience becomes a lot easier for both parent and child.This helps the children manage dental anxiety.
·Downplay – resist the temptation to make the dental procedure into a bigger thing than it really is. Don’t share horror stories about dental work from your own or anyone else’s childhood.
· Details – being truthful and gentle, give your child enough details so that they are prepared for what will happen, and won’t be surprised by procedures. The best tool to conquer the fear of the unknown is knowledge.
· Distract – keep your child’s mind busy with other things, so that they don’t spend time worrying about the dental visit.
· Danger words – stay away from words that evoke fear, such as hurt, pain, and needle.
· Reassure and encourage – the parent can offer support for the child in a positive way, making the dental visit much less scary.
It’s important that dental work is carried out in a way that is comfortable for the child. When the child is properly prepared and comes to the office having full support and encouragement from the parent, it’s usually a positive outcome. Children often display a surprising amount of resiliency and courage, which helps the dental procedure sail smoothly along and also makes future visits to the dentist much easier.
However, there’re times when a child may have worked themselves up to the point where fear and anxiety about the dental procedures have spiraled out of control. In this type of situation, it may be prudent to consider partial or full sedation for the child. The decision to use sedation can be made in conjunction with the family’s dental professional team.