Does Your Child Have “Dentist Visit Anxiety”?
When it is time to visit the dentist, many children are fearful and anxious. Some of these fears are derived from previous experiences, such as having received a shot or having had a tooth drilled or extracted. Others are often based on anxieties about the unknown and what might happen. Even when previous visits haven’t resulted in discomfort, many children find the sounds and sights, such as loud drills and suction machines, sharp metal tools and bright lights, scary.
As a parent watching your child struggle with these worries, you may feel helpless, but you can take several steps to encourage your child to feel more comfortable about the checkup. Here are a few things you can do to help your child cope:
- Try not to take your child with you to your own dental visits. You could wind up transferring your own fears—even subconscious ones—to your child.
- Discuss the visit and your child’s fears before coming to our office. But don’t give your child too many details or make any promises about what will or will not happen.
- Do not talk about shots, drills, extractions or other potentially frightening aspects of dental care.
- Practice what you preach: Go to the dentist regularly, without talking about fears or worries or demonstrating anxiety.
- Understand that fear is not an uncommon emotion in children. Many children may feel separation anxiety, and fear of the unknown is especially common.
- Emphasize the role of going to the dentist in keeping teeth healthy and smiles bright.
- Do not cave in and cancel or postpone appointments; your child should understand that going to the dentist is a necessity, not a choice.
Give us a call at (509)-891-7070 to schedule today!