As parents, one of our most important jobs is to help our children develop healthy lifelong habits. That’s especially important when it comes to our teeth. Brushing and flossing regularly, and making routine visits to the dentist, are crucial to avoid problems later in life. But how can you help your child to overcome dental anxiety?
The answer will be different for everyone. Some people may need the reassurance of a parent; others, some form of distraction. You may even want to teach them relaxation techniques.
Pediatric dentists are specially trained to help keep child dental anxiety to a minimum. Working together, you can find the best solution for your child.
Pediatric Dentistry as a Specialty
Dental development starts early, with baby teeth starting to grow around six months of age. Permanent teeth should be in by the ages of 6 or 7 years old. In between, plenty can go wrong.
Pediatric dentistry is a unique specialty that focuses on children’s dental needs, including reducing child dental anxiety, from infancy through the early teens.
A pediatric dentist can set children on the right path in several ways, such as:
- Regular cleanings
- Advising on diet and nutrition
- Application of fluoride
- Filling cavities
- Helping advise on breaking habits such as pacifier use or thumb-sucking
4 Ways to Help Your Child with Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety is a real issue. It can be especially intense for children, mostly because they do not yet have the life experience to know what to expect.
As with all forms of anxiety, the trick is finding a way of managing the feelings of anxiety rather than denying them. Four ways to help your child with dental anxiety include:
1. Choose the Right Dentist
As indicated earlier, pediatric dentistry is a specialty that involves understanding how a young person might feel. Interview potential dentists carefully and get references.
2. Be a Role Model
Set a good example. The first time out, schedule an appointment only for yourself, so your little one can see what it’s like.
3. Keep Them Fully Informed
Don’t spring an appointment on them. Be honest about what they are likely to experience. Be delicate with your wording.
4. Teach Relaxation
The power of deep breathing exercises can be extraordinary. Help them learn ways to use breathing to settle themselves. With a good plan in place, you and your dentist will be able to address child dental anxiety.
Easing Dental Anxiety Starts at Home
One of the ways of easing dental anxiety is to practice good hygiene at home. Preventing problems before they begin reduces the number of visits to the dentist. But what do those good habits involve, and how do you build them into your child’s routine?
The obvious answer is to keep up a brushing routine — at least twice a day, if not more. Please make sure you consult with your dentist about the best toothpaste to use and follow their recommendations.
Flossing is also critically important. Little particles of food can get stuck in tiny gaps in teeth and cause problems down the road. Helping your child to learn to floss can clear those particles.
Finally, diet plays an enormous role. Limit exposure to sugary foods and sugary drinks such as sodas, which can accelerate decay.
Building in preventive habits is a good strategy for easing dental anxiety.
Get Excellent Pediatric Dental Care Now at Lovett Dental Gulfgate
The phenomenon of dental anxiety is real. At Lovett Dental Gulfgate, we have ways of helping reduce dental anxiety in both adults and children. Our caring team of pediatric dentistry specialists can help put your child at ease during their time in the dental chair.
Our staff, made up of board-certified dentists and specialists, can also treat the whole family. From cleanings and checkups to more involved treatments such as orthodontic dental braces or cosmetic dentistry services, our team at Lovett Dental Gulfgate is here for all your needs. Let us brighten your day and your smile. Please schedule an appointment today by contacting Lovett Dental Gulfgate by either calling 832.501.3191 or completing our confidential online form.