How To Ensure Your Kids Have a Stress-Free Visit to the Dentist

Stensland Dental StudioPediatric DentistryLeave a Comment

child dental anxiety

So, it’s time for your child to visit the dentist. Don’t panic! We understand that the thought of your little one cooperating at a doctor’s office can be a daunting task. So the staff of Stensland Dental Studio is here to help! We do our best to reduce anxiety in all our patients, including our smallest ones. Having a positive experience at the dentist as a child can lead to a life of superb oral health. And that’s what we strive to achieve!

To help ensure a great visit (and make them excited to come back), we’ve put together the following dos and don’ts for parents.

What to Say and Do

  • Tell your child that going to see the dentist is part of good health habits
  • Explain that everything we do is to help take care of his/her mouth
  • Remind your child of the appointment the day before and express how excited you are to take him/her
  • Tell your child that sometimes people can get a cavity even if he/she has done everything right
  • If your child needs treatment, remind him/her that the dentist went to a special school to learn how to take good care of teeth

On the day before the visit, simply let your child know that he/she will be going to the dentist the next morning. If your child asks a specific question, simply reply with, “That’s a great question. You should ask Dr. Steve at your appointment.” This encourages your child to interact with Dr. Steve and take an active role in the visit. It’s beneficial to start taking your child to the dentist at an early age. We recommend starting at age 1 just to get them familiar with the environment (we call this a “happy” visit). Then by age 3, after experiencing a couple of “happy visits”, we are usually able to do a cleaning and other treatment as needed.

What Not To Say or Do

Try to avoid telling your child any of the following things before his/her appointment:

  • The dentist will hurt.
  • The dentist is going to give you a shot.
  • We are going to yank out your teeth.
  • Fluoride tastes horrible.
  • I hate going to the dentist.

While sometimes it may be okay to joke around with your child, negative teasing builds anxiety. To reduce the stress, it’s important to reassure your child the visit to the dentist is routine and part of good dental health.

It’s best to avoid words like shot, drill, pull, yank or any other negative words. We use words that are pleasant and non-frightening to make sure your child is comfortable with the treatments he/she receives.

You may also want to tell your child that we’ve got a great playroom – complete with trains, puzzles, video games, mega blocks, and other toys. Our playroom is always a big hit with the kiddos!

Once your child is in our office, we’ll handle all the rest. Our staff takes pride in making sure each and every patient has a positive experience, even in the most stressful situations. If you have any questions about your child’s first or next visit to our office, be sure to give us a call at (757) 645-4055 or send us an email by clicking here. We look forward to seeing you and your child soon!

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