3 Tips To Make Your Child More Comfortable At The Dentist

It's common for adults and children alike to experience anxiety about going to the dentist. They may have fears that the procedure will hurt, or they might be wary of the unexpected. Keep reading to learn a few tips that can make going to the dentist a comfortable experience for your child. Childhood is the perfect time to instill good dental habits and encourage positive emotions towards dental visits.

1. Schedule Your Appointment for a Time When You Won't Be Rushed

Even if this isn't your child's first dental appointment, your child might be apprehensive about what's going to happen during the session. One way to tackle this problem is to schedule the appointment for a time when you won't be rushed. A hurried appointment may even contribute to your child's anxiety.

This gives your dentist and hygienist a chance to thoroughly explain to your child what they're going to do. If your child has misgivings about a particular dental tool, this will allow ample time for your dentist to explain how the tool works and even give a demonstration. Your child may need to take a break mid-appointment to collect themselves or visit the restroom. Giving yourself sufficient time opens up so many options that can make going to the dentist as pleasant as possible. 

2. See If Your Child Can Listen to Music or Watch a Video During a Procedure

Many dentists give their pediatric patients the option to watch TV or listen to music during their dental sessions. Not only does this permit the child to focus on something other than what the dentist is doing, but it allows them to associate going to the dentist with fun activities.

If your dentist doesn't provide this option, ask if you can set up a smartphone or tablet during the appointment. You can load it with your child's favorite songs or an audiobook.

3. Consider Limiting Conversation About Your Own Dental Fears

Children who hear the adults in their lives talk about how much they dread going to the dentist may feed off these thoughts. It's fine to be empathetic to your child's fears and tell them that going to the dentist makes you anxious sometimes, but be careful of oversharing.

Instead of dwelling on any negative emotions, you might relay some of the positive experiences you've had at the dentist or offer suggestions for how you relieve anxiety. For example, you might share a positive affirmation that your child can repeat on the day of their dentist appointment. For more information, contact your local children's dentistry office.