Children And Dental Anxiety
How we help children avoid worries about their dental visits in Ipswich
We have mentioned in previous blogs, the importance of taking your children to see the dentist from an early age. This is so important that we feel that it is worth reiterating again and again. Early years dental care will play a major role in helping your children have healthy teeth and gums throughout their life.
Whilst good home care is important, and is an essential building block to healthy teeth and gums, professional supervision is to key to spotting areas where cleaning improvements need to take place, and also any early intervention treatment that may be needed.
Whilst some children do attend the Foxhall Dental Practice with little or no concern, like with all dentists, there is no doubt that some children express symptoms of anxiety about their visit. For parents of children such as these, we hope the tips below will be of some help.
- Start young. Taking your child to a dentist at around one year old has been shown to be an effective way of accustoming the senses to sounds, sights and smells associated with a dental practice. Early exposure is likely to help them feel more relaxed about visits as they grow older.
- Avoid detail. Don’t go into any great detail about what might happen at the dentist. Keep the discussion general. Any attempts to explain what happens is likely to lead to further questioning and potentially further worries about their visit. It is best though, not to say that ‘everything will be fine’. Whilst we hope this is the case, if they do need a filling, for example, it could cause a loss of trust for the next visit.
- Choose your language. Avoid using words such as ‘injection’, ‘pain’ ‘hurt’ etc … Keep your language positive and perhaps go into no more detail than to say that the dentist is going to check to make sure their teeth and gums are nice and healthy.
- Their own visit. Whilst it may be tempting (or even unavoidable) to take the child for a visit at the same time as your own appointment, this is not ideal. Children pick up on their parent’s anxieties and if you have some yourself, this is likely to increase their own concerns.
- Trust the dentist. Although you know your own child best; remember that our Ipswich children’s dentist team have seen many young patients are are experienced in dealing with them. If your child sees that you trust their dentist, they are likely to feel more comfortable around them too.
These few simple tips alone should help to keep your child more relaxed about their dental visits. Although it may feel easier to not take them to avoid perhaps a tantrum or crying, this is a short term solution that is almost certain to lead to long term problems when it comes to having healthy teeth and gums.
To arrange your child’s dental appointment at the Foxhall Dental Practice in Ipswich, please call us on 01473 258396.