Avoiding Childhood Dental Anxiety

It is very important for your children to feel comfortable during their visits to the dentist’s office. Most adults who struggle with dental anxiety can trace their phobia back to a childhood trauma. If a child cannot overcome his or her fears at an early age, he or she may very well avoid the dentist well into adulthood. With this in mind, consider the following tips for making the dentist a pleasant experience for your kids:

  • Get your child started early. The general recommendation is that a child’s first dental visit should occur when he or she turns one. This serves to make the child feel more accustomed to the experience.
  • Don’t show any anxiety when you discuss the dentist’s office. You may not even be aware of the the emotional clues you give, but your child will pick up on this and likely mirror your attitude.
  • Do not attempt to offer your child a bribe for going to the dentist’s office. This is sending him or her a clear message that there is something to be afraid of.
    Avoid using phrases like “everything will be okay”. This can cause you to lose your child’s trust in the event that he or she experiences some pain in the dental chair.