Your child isn’t alone if they have ever put their foot down and refused to go to the dentist’s office. Dental anxiety is SO common in children. In fact, it can classified as Odontophobia by the WHO when it’s severe enough. Dental anxiety doesn’t discriminate either; 15-20% of adults also have dental anxiety.

There are many common causes for dental anxiety other than the drill and needle. Patients often feel out of control when another person works on their mouths, and unsureness lingers. Anticipating pain is common, because even though dentists aim to be gentle, some procedures just aren’t comfortable.

Dental anxiety is typically easy to spot in children. They adamantly tell you that they don’t want to go, but some are more secretive. Every kid on earth has woken up sick for something unpleasant and “magically” gotten better later that evening. Sometimes dental anxiety looks like a collection of canceled appointments, and you don’t remember why that is. We want to help you prevent dental anxiety because it isn’t fun for anyone- kids, parents, or the dentist.

Language Matters

Right away, parents don’t have a lot of control, and it’s not their fault or doing. But there are some things we can do to make it easier. By treating a dentist visit with the same ease as anything else, we can lessen anticipation. Sometimes over affirming a child with, “you’re SOOO brave!” can signal that there is something to fear. It’s okay to let your child know you’re there, but too much can become overwhelming.

Another example is when parents ask, “does that hurt?” Unless your child shows visible discomfort, it’s safe to assume they’re doing just fine. Especially with anxious children, asking can draw attention to whatever sensation is (or isn’t) there. Has the doctor ever asked you if it hurts when they touch your healthy arm? Suddenly, your arm hurts!

Frequent Dentist Visits

Our next tip for preventing dental anxiety is to visit the dentist frequently as a family! Routine visits familiarize the environment. When they see you going as well, they see that it’s safe for them too. Allowing your child to become familiar with the dentist’s office gives them a way of knowing what to expect. When they know what to expect, they may feel more in control.

Choose the Right Dentist

Choosing the right dentist is the most important step because not all pediatric offices are built the same. It’s mandatory to acknowledge the unique needs children have from adults. That is why so many parents love Band & Wire. Our office was designed with children in mind, from the giant prize wheel to the Roku TVs above every chair. Our staff adores children, treating every child with care like our own. Choosing a dentist who is passionate about children (and dentistry) can make visits a pleasant experience instead of one dreaded.

We’d love to see you. Book a free consultation with us today here