4 Ways to Help Your Kids Alleviate Their Fear of the Dentist

This post is sponsored by Kids Teeth, however all opinions expressed are our own.

When you open your calendar and see your child’s upcoming dentist appointment, what’s your first thought? If you’ve selected the right pediatric dentist, you shouldn’t be concerned or worried about tears and fussing. At Kids Teeth, we understand many children don’t like someone poking their mouths or they may feel out of control lying back in the chair. Taking your child to the dentist is a critical part of their overall health and wellness and we go the extra mile to ensure every dental visit ends with a smile.

We don’t want parents skipping dental visits simply to avoid a meltdown. Parents who don’t take their children to the dentist at an early age or don’t fill cavities in baby teeth in a timely matter face bigger dental issues down the road. Neglecting early dental care also can cause damage to permanent teeth and potentially result in spacing issues as permanent teeth emerge. Don’t let your children’s fears deter you from taking them to the dentist. Here are some tips to make your next dental visit less stressful for everyone.

Tips to make your child’s dental visits less stressful

  • Find an environment that’s fun, not scary. Walking into a sterile medical office isn’t pleasant for anyone and certainly won’t calm a child’s fears. Mount Pleasant pediatric dentist Kids Teeth has a child-friendly waiting room complete with a playroom designed to look like the inside of a pirate ship. Immediately, children are greeted with a fun, inviting space. The treatment rooms also have televisions mounted on the ceiling, so kids can watch a favorite cartoon – providing a relaxing distraction.

  • Choose a dentist that will help alleviate any pain. Unfortunately, dental treatment is often portrayed as a painful. Kids Teeth uses several techniques, instruments, and medicines all designed specifically for children. Because Kids Teeth specialize in dental practices for children, we use the appropriate doses and can minimize, if not eliminate, discomfort during a dental procedure.
  • Keep your child informed to combat fear of the unknown. A pediatric dentist knows how to talk to children about what to expect. The staff at Kids Teeth uses a “Tell. Show. Do” method. We explain to the child what will happen, show them what will happen (maybe they can watch an older sibling go first) and then actually do the cleaning or other procedure. As with most situations, the buildup is often scarier than the actual procedure. It’s important your dentist takes this extra step to explain what’s coming next. Your dentist should refrain from discussing detailed treatment plans in front of a young child, particularly if it involves filling cavities or tooth extractions. Make that an adults-only conversation at this point. Also keep your own bad dental experiences to yourself. Kids often pick up on conversations and cues around them. If you’re afraid of the dentist, your child will notice. Parents can help by using kid-friendly terms, such as:
     Pictures of your teeth = X-rays
     Wiggle a tooth = extraction
     Make your tooth sleepy = numb

  • Put the fun back in dental check-ups. Don’t make your child’s dental visit just another item on your to-do list. Tell them how excited the dentist is to meet them and count their teeth. Plan extra time to play in the playroom. Get them excited about the prospect of a prize at the end if they do a good job. Distractions, toys, and activities go a long way toward making your child feeling relaxed.

Kids Teeth has a playroom and waiting area movies, so little patients have a great first impression of the dentist’s office. The staff – specially trained in pediatric dentistry – keep the visits lighthearted. We know exactly how to engage with children. Plus, the prospect of a toy surprise at the end of each visit is an added bonus for young patients. Good dental health is a lifelong pursuit, so it’s important to start your kids off on the right foot. You want them to care about their teeth and gums and giving them a positive experience at the dentist’s office is the first step.

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