Ease Your Child's Dental Anxiety: Babies, Teens & Ages in Between
Does your child get anxious or scared at the mere mention of a dentist appointment?
As a parent, there are many ways to soothe the stress. Help your child move from screaming “AHHH!!!” to calmly opening wide and saying, “Ahh…”
INFANTS & TODDLERS
Infants and toddlers experience “firsts” on a daily basis. Once your child turns 1, it's time to introduce him or her to another first – a dental visit.
Keep it positive. Talk in a calm, upbeat tone leading up to the appointment. Your child can pick up on your tone and stress level.
Bring a soothing item from home. A blanket or favorite toy can distract your child, while making him or her more comfortable.
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Your child has undoubtedly visited the dentist a handful of times. If it's a stressful event, here are some tips on how you can de-stress their dental experience:
Choose a kid-friendly dentist office. You may love your dentist, but is their office suited for the whole family? Consider taking your child to a different practice that caters to children. Many include colorful waiting rooms, books, toys and video games. Find a pediatric dentist near you at www.deltadentalil.com/find-a-provider/dental.
Praise your child after the appointment. Express how proud you are of your child after the dentist visit, compliment their sparkly smile and congratulate them on how well they take care of their teeth.
Dental anxiety isn't just for the little ones; teens experience dental anxiety too. If your teen is anxious about the dentist, try these tips:
Talk to your teen. Ask questions and offer advice. What are their expectations? What about the dentist makes them feel anxious?
Introduce relaxation techniques. There are many meditation programs that train patients how to relax their muscles. Studies show that these programs help to relieve dental anxiety.
A dental visit should be a good experience for your child. If it's not, try a variety of these age-appropriate methods. We'd love to hear other methods that have worked for your child. Share your advice in the comments section.