Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Kids

Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Kids

Anxiety about visiting the dentist is perfectly normal. Most people feel some anxiety about visiting the dentist, even if it is only slight. However, if you or your child are avoiding dental visits because of anxiety, you risk dental problems that could be caught and treated early. 

Start Dental Visits While They’re Young

Early visits to the dentist are important for monitoring your child’s oral health and ensuring that their teeth are developing properly. This can help identify potential issues early before they worsen and cause more trouble for your child. Visiting the dentist early on can also help you plan for future treatments such as braces or oral surgery. Starting these appointments at an early age can also help your child become more comfortable with visiting the dentist on a regular basis.

Making regular trips to the dentist from an early age is good practice for children. Regular dental appointments are important because they help keep children’s teeth and gums healthy. Frequent dental visits are also necessary so that dentists can monitor a child’s teeth and gum health and identify potential problems early before they become serious. Additionally, they can help parents plan for their child’s future treatment needs.

Take a Comforting Item to the Dentist's Appointment

Bringing your child to a dentist for their very first visit can be scary and overwhelming for them. Having a familiar blanket or their favorite toy can help ease their anxiety. Similarly, you can pack a few treats for the ride home after your appointment is over so that they can continue to feel comfortable and relaxed.

Read Stories or Play Games Involving Dentist Visits

Reading books together about going to the dentist can be a great way to introduce the topic and address any fears your child may have about it. There are also a variety of fun and creative games you can play with your child to help them better grasp the idea of a dentist visit and ease their fear.

One game you can play involves using puppets. Have your little one pretend to be the doctor, and have you use a special puppet for the checkup. The puppet can be a stuffed animal or toy that you likely already have in your home. Then, let your little one pretend they’re the patient. They can help you examine your puppet, which will help them feel more involved in the process and more comfortable. After the game is done, you can discuss the importance of routine checkups.

Another thing you can do is head to the bookstore and search for children’s books that deal with the dentist. Your son or daughter can hopefully find some stories that can help them understand what happens during a dentist visit and see them as normal and necessary parts of life.

You can also share your own story about visiting the dentist when you were young. This can help your child see that adults go through the same things they experience now but that, as adults, they are capable of managing it.

Teach Kids the Importance of Great Oral Health

You should teach your children the importance of great oral health at an early age. Lead by example and practice good dental hygiene habits at home to ensure your kids are getting the message. When your child is old enough to understand basic instructions, start explaining the importance of brushing and flossing their teeth twice daily. Explain that neglecting your oral health can lead to bad breath, cavities, gum disease, and other serious health issues. Encourage your child to develop healthy habits early on to continue excellent dental health as he or she gets older.

You can also read age-appropriate books or tell stories about going to the dentist with your child to help them feel more comfortable with the idea. Wrap up each story with a reassuring phrase like ‘the dentist is our friend’ to help the child feel more relaxed about the visit. You should also prepare a list of questions and perhaps some concerns about the visit to make you feel confident enough to address them at the appointment.

Lead by Example

Your child will mirror your behavior when going to the dentist. If you’re nervous about an upcoming visit, your child will pick up on those emotions. However, if you remain calm and collected, then your child will be more likely to do so as well.

To learn more about our dental procedures, call Cheyenne Mountain Dental at (719) 576-3276 to schedule your appointment, or visit us at 3605 Star Ranch Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906. For more information, please contact


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