Tips for Dealing with Dental Anxiety

Does the thought of visiting the dentist fill you with dread? If so, you're not alone! An estimated 75% of adults experience some level of dental anxiety.

Chances are if you're feeling nervous about the dentist, you may be passing the anxiety on to your child as well.

Regular dental visits are an important part of dental health. So what can be done to put parents and children at ease? Actually, a lot! . . .

  1. Choose a board certified pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists and their staff are specially trained to work with kids. They often foster a child-friendly environment, value a positive patient experience, and talk to children on their level.
  2. Schedule your appointment first thing in the morning, when your child is well-rested. Avoid scheduling near nap times, after school, or close to meal times.
  3. Let the dental team know if you and/or your child are nervous. We're here to help you!
  4. Ask questions. Eliminate the fear of the unknown. Again, then dental team is here for you!

Does the anxiety start before you've even arrived at the office? Try these home tips before your appointment:

  • Remember that a healthy mouth is something you want for yourself and your family. Close your eyes and visualize your ideal dental visit from start to finish. Picture yourself with a beautiful smile. This practice works well for both adults and older children.
    • Studies show that visualization exercises have the same calming effects on the mind as mediation. Learn more here.
  • Help your child understand what to expect from the dental visit by reading a storybook, watching a video, or role-playing with your child.

Looking for more tips? Check out the Preparing for Your Visit page of our website.





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