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Relieving Dental Fear & Anxiety in Children

Relieving Dental Fear & Anxiety in Children

Every child is different, and has different needs when it comes to oral health care. Certain children feel an uncommon level of fear and anxiety when it comes to visiting the dentist. The Smile Town Team is here to help put them at ease.

For children, a trip to the dentist can be a scary prospect.

They have to lie in a big chair, in an unfamiliar room, with unfamiliar noises and intimidating dental equipment, all while the dentist is poking around in their mouths with weird looking, pointy metal tools. This can even be a bit scary for adults!

We understand.

At Smile Town, we want to make our young patients feel as comfortable and safe as possible while they’re visiting us. That’s why we’ve designed our practice with children, and their needs, in mind.

Our fun and friendly office environment is colourful and interactive, with lots of toys, books, and games to keep kids occupied as they wait for their appointment.

And, our team of Langley children's dentists and dental professionals have lots of experience working with kids. They’re cheerful, caring, and gentle, and know just how to make children feel safe and at home.

Once you and your child have arrived at our office, we’ll go above and beyond to make the visit a success.

For parents who would like to help relieve some of their children’s dental anxiety before an appointment, here are some tips:

Start young

The sooner you start bringing your child to the dentist, the sooner your child will get used to it. As soon as your child’s first tooth emerges, it’s time for the first visit!

Prepare your child, but keep it simple

When preparing your children for a dental appointment (especially the first time around), don’t get into too much detail. Stay positive, but be realistic. If you say everything will be fine, but then they wind up needing a treatment, they’ll lose trust in you, and in the dentist.

To keep it simple, tell your children that the dentist is going to check their smile and count their teeth. If they have questions, try to use positive phrases like ‘clean, healthy, strong teeth’.

Select your words carefully

Try to avoid scary words like ‘shot’, ‘needle’, or ‘pain’. Allow the dental staff to introduce their own vocabulary, to help them get through scary or difficult situations.

Hide your own anxiety

If you tend to feel anxious or nervous about visiting the dentist yourself, or about your child’s visit, don’t let on. Put on a brace, casual face for your kids, even if you’re not really feeling that way.

Also, it’s best to avoid telling your children about your own past dental experiences in too much detail.

Be prepared for a fuss

Even the most relaxed kids might begin to cry, squirm, whine, or resist treatment. Accept that this is a likely eventuality, and remain calm. Keep in mind that the dentist and dental staff treat children all the time, and have seen a tantrum or two; they know what to do.

If you have any additional questions about helping your child feel relaxed about visiting the dentist, give us a call. We’d be glad to help!

Download our FREE SmileTown Children's Activity Booklet.

This fun resource will help your kids get ready – and excited – about visiting the dentist.

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