Visiting the dentist can be a stressful and nerve-wracking experience for young children. In fact, roughly 20% of school-age children are afraid of visiting their dentist. Unfortunately, this can have both long- and short-term impacts on your child’s oral health. In the short-term, your child may not receive the important treatments necessary to maintain healthy teeth. In the long-term, your child may be setting the stage for a lifetime of serious oral health issues unless this fear is overcome and they are able to visit the dentist for regular cleanings.
Dr. Khavari understands how common this fear can be for young children, and she’s committed to doing everything possible to ensure her pediatric dentistry patients enjoy a relaxing, comfortable experience every time they visit our office.
What Can Parents Do to Ease Dental Anxiety among Children?
While Dr. Khavari has created a warm, inviting dental environment to help your children feel comfortable, there are additional steps you can take to help your kids overcome their fear of the dentist. These include:
- Start your child’s dental visits at a young age – The earlier you bring your children to the dentist, the more likely they are to feel comfortable in this environment. Dental visits will simply become part of your children’s healthcare routine, similar to the way they are accustomed to visiting their pediatrician for regular checkups. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you bring your child to the dentist within six months of their first teeth developing and by age 1 at the latest, so starting your child’s dental visits at a young age aligns with best practices.
- Schedule a pre-appointment visit – Bringing your child into our office to briefly meet Dr. Khavari prior to the dental visit can help alleviate any anxiety. This initial visit will allow your child to get to know Dr. Khavari and the rest of our staff, and this can help build the rapport necessary to ensure your child is comfortable.
- Use positive language – When talking to your child about an upcoming dental appointment, make sure to avoid negative language such as “pain” or “shot” that may make the visit seem scary. Instead, focus on positive language such as “clean, strong, healthy teeth” that can set the tone for a positive experience.
- Stay calm during your child’s visit – It’s common for children to become fussy or upset during a dental visit. If you express alarm over this, it can potentially feed your child’s anxiety. Instead, try to stay as calm as possible and let Dr. Khavari guide your child’s experience. Our team has made children’s dentistry a focus of our practice, and we have developed a variety of techniques to help place nervous children at ease during their dental visit.
- Provide positive reinforcement – Giving your child something to look forward to after their dental visit can reinforce their good behavior in the dental chair and help them look forward to subsequent visits. Choose a reward such as visiting the zoo, seeing a movie or going to their favorite playground.
- Stress the importance of good oral hygiene – Visiting the dentist is a necessity, not a choice. Make sure your children understand that these visits are an important part of their oral hygiene regimen and will help them maintain strong, healthy teeth.
- Choose a dentist that focuses on pediatric dentistry – Dentists who make children’s dentistry a primary focus of their practice understand the unique oral health needs associated with kids. In addition, these dentists are more likely to cater to the emotional needs of young children by providing toys or games in the waiting room, offering prizes for good dental visits and maintaining a fun, relaxing demeanor that will place your child at ease.
Contact our Pasadena Pediatric Dentist
Please contact Love Brushing Dentistry using the form on this page or call 713-490-2088 today to schedule your child’s dental visit. We serve patients in Pasadena, Baytown, Channelview and throughout East Houston.