Visiting the dentist can be scary, especially for kids! About 10% of children in the U.S. experience dental anxiety, making it tough to keep their smiles healthy. If your child has an extreme phobia, you may even struggle to make the appointment just to prevent feelings of dread in your little one. Regular dental visits are an essential part of your child’s dental health, so our team at Children’s Dental Center has some helpful tips for managing dental anxiety that can remove the fear of going to the dentist!

Here at Children’s Dental Center, our doctors are proud to offer a range of treatment options to patients who experience any level of dental anxiety, including sedation dentistry. Let’s take a closer look at how you can help your child manage dental anxiety and confidently care for their smile!

Encourage communication about their fears

It can help your child to talk through some of their fears before going to the dentist or having a procedure. Our team has extensive experience working with kids, so we understand it can feel overwhelming to see so many bright lights and technical tools. If your child is nervous, we’ll take all the time they need to show them around the office and even let them have some hands-on experience while in the chair to help them feel a little more in control.  

Meet kids on their level

Dental offices are full of unfamiliar sights, sounds, and people, particularly for children who have never had a check-up. No wonder they get anxious about appointments! Begin talking to your child about their upcoming visit ahead of time, and be sure to keep things simple. Too many details can overwhelm younger children and increase their anxiety instead of reducing it. Avoid words that carry negative connotations like “hurt,” “shot,” or “pain.” Go for positive phrases instead, such as “strong teeth,” “healthy smile,” and “brave.” 

It’s also not unusual for adults to have their own anxiety about dental visits. That doesn’t go away when you become a parent! Your feelings about these appointments can have a real impact on your child’s experience, so try your best to keep any subconscious negativity from creeping into your words, voice, or actions. This will help make the visit feel like something to look forward to rather than fear!

Act it out

Pretend play can be a powerful thing! Help combat any anxiety your child feels about seeing the dentist by pretending to be a dentist and acting out a typical check-up. Start by counting your child’s teeth using numbers or letters, then hold a mirror and illustrate how the dentist may look around and clean their teeth. 

Then switch it up! Let your child be the dentist, brushing your teeth for you or using the toothbrush on a favorite stuffed animal or doll. This can be a great way to get your child comfortable with their appointment ahead of time. 

Choose the right dentist for your child’s needs

One of the best ways to ensure a positive dental experience for your child is to choose a dental office and provider you’re both comfortable with. When selecting the right dental practice for your child, look for one with the following:

  • A convenient location that’s close to your home, school, or work. This makes getting to and from visits a short and easy trip! Our offices in Collierville, Midtown, Arlington, and East Memphis give you convenient options no matter where you live.  
  • Flexible appointments that fit your lifestyle and keep your stress levels way down. It’s easy to get an appointment with our team because we do our best to fit these visits into your busy schedule! 
  • Caring and compassionate providers with experience treating young patients with the highest level of care. Our doctors are highly trained and experienced dental experts with years of experience helping children smile. Our team regularly attends continuing education courses to ensure we have the knowledge and training to offer our patients the most comfortable, quality care.
  • An environment that isn’t sterile and scary but warm, relaxing, and welcoming. In addition to creating a stress-free atmosphere by maintaining a positive attitude, you’ll enjoy a comfortable office with TV monitors and free WiFi. 
Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety

Help your child smile confidently with Children’s Dental Center

At Children’s Dental Center, we are trained to be sensitive to dental phobias. Our entire team will do everything possible to make your child’s experience comfortable on both a physical and emotional level. You’re truly putting your child’s smile into the best hands when you choose our office.

Whatever the reason for your child’s dental anxiety, Children’s Dental Center will provide the best experience possible through compassionate, personalized care. Schedule a visit with our team today!