No one seems to like the dentist. For children, this couldn’t be truer. The lack of understanding accompanied by fear of the unknown is enough to send any child into a frenzy. Here are four techniques dental assistants can use to deter those fears and encourage positive dental visits for both kids and parents.
Children fear the unknown. Letting them gain insight on procedures before they begin can put a child’s mind at ease. Using age appropriate terms in a soothing voice helps children to understand exactly what is going to happen and in turn lessens their fears. Also, refrain from telling a child they “won’t feel a thing” if you know there may be some discomfort, as this breaches trust between you and the child and can increase their anxiety for future visits as well.
While it may be difficult to communicate during a procedure, distracting a child in another way can help ease their minds. Some practices may offer small toys or cuddly objects to ease any stress or discomfort the child may feel. Consider speaking with the child about their school or any interests they may have before beginning the procedure. Then use that information to talk to them while you are working, taking their mind off what you are doing and focusing it back on the topics previously discussed. While they cannot respond, their minds are likely to travel to the conversation rather than wondering what is going on inside their mouth.
Praising a child for good behavior once the procedure is complete will build a positive relationship between the child and their dentist. This will help with future visits by connecting good behavior with a reward at the end and in turn lessening any anxiety during future visits.
Ask for help:
No one knows a child like their parents. Parents can often provide a sense of comfort for children during trying times such as an anxious visit. Sometimes just having a parent in the room with them during a procedure is enough to calm a child’s nerves. Parents may also know what little tricks work for their child that may not work for others, decreasing the stress of the situation for all parties involved.
Having good dental hygiene is important for everyone at any age. Making the experience less stressful for a child, will lead to more positive and relaxed visits clear into adulthood. For more information you can contact our dentist in Sugar Land.