Tips for Helping Your Child Fight Dentist Chair Nerves

Going to the dentist can be a scary experience for your child. Addressing their fear is an integral part of ensuring that they get the dental care they need. 

At Eagle River Dental in Eagle River, Alaska, Dr. Michael Crookston, DDS, specializes in general and cosmetic dentistry. Our team values your family's dental health and caters to patients of all ages. Find out what factors may be contributing to your child's fear of the dentist. 

Strategies for easing dental anxiety 

Dental anxiety varies from person to person, but there are measures you can take to ease your child’s fears. Children express their anxieties in different ways. Your child may cry or throw a tantrum, for instance. If you're hoping to provide a more positive experience for your child, consider these options.

Have your child meet the dentist 

You should schedule your child's first dentist appointment as soon as their teeth begin to form. Getting into the routine of regular dental visits at an early age can prevent potential problems in the future. Visiting our office before your child’s first appointment to do a meet and greet might also help ease their anxiety.

A dentist who specializes in treating children can help manage your little one’s nerves. Dr. Crookston works with patients of all ages and has extensive experience treating children. In fact, he volunteers for Give Kids a Smile, an organization that provides oral health care for children living in difficult and challenging circumstances. 

But Dr. Crookston isn’t the only one in our office who has experience with children. At Eagle River Dental, we use simple words and a friendly tone to make your child feel comfortable. We also talk to your child to draw their attention away from treatment. Body language and compliments reinforce your child’s good behavior. 

Keep your dental fears to yourself

If you're scared of the dentist, your child may sense your feelings and adopt them. Model positive behavior and reassure your child that there is nothing to be afraid of. Nervous kids may benefit from sitting on a parent's lap or having a hand to hold while they're getting their teeth checked. 

When speaking to your child about their visits, avoid using words like "hurt" or “painful.” Refrain from describing your own negative dental experiences and keep in mind that it is normal for your child to be somewhat fearful of the unknown. 

Redirect your child’s attention

Dr. Crookston ensures that your child understands the importance of maintaining healthy gums and teeth. This gives your child a sense of security around dental procedures and potentially distracts them from the examination. Additionally, bringing your child's favorite toy or smartphone can help take their focus off of the dentist's office. 

Why you should address dental fear 

Going to the dentist should not be a negative experience because it is an essential part of maintaining your child's health for their lifetime. Making sure that your child becomes serious about their oral health begins with you. 

Our offices keep your children entertained with toys and TVs. Put your trust in Dr. Crookston and our dedicated team of experts, who want to help encourage and perpetuate positive dental hygiene habits and practices. 

If you're looking to schedule your child’s next dental appointment, call our office today.  

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