For some of us, heading to the dentist or orthodontist is just another task in our day. However, for some people, the thought of sitting in a dental chair can create heavy feelings of anxiety. If your child grows nervous when they head to have their smile worked on, there are a few things you can do to calm their fears and ease their dental anxieties.
Tips for Easing Fears of the Dentist
Speak to Them First
Especially for young children, the biggest root of their dental fear is that they don’t know what’s going on or if it will hurt. Once they’re old enough to understand you, sit them down and explain what will happen during their appointment, in detail, so they’re aware of what they should expect. You should also explain that nothing will hurt since their dentist or orthodontist can numb areas so they won’t feel anything.
Practice at Home
If simply explaining what goes on during a dental appointment doesn’t work, play pretend at home before their next office visit. You can pantomime getting their teeth cleaned, having their gums inspected, switching out rubber bands on their braces, and more.
Listen to Music
Once they’re in the chair, have your child put in headphones and listen to music to relax. Whether it’s their favorite nursery rhymes or the soundtrack to their favorite movie, having music playing is a great way to distract them and keep them calm.