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How to Best Address Your Child’s Dental Anxiety

child’s dental examination photo

Many people are afraid of the dentist and dental anxiety in children is quite common. About 75% of American adults experience anxiety when going to the dentist’s office and 20% of school-age children are afraid of the dentist. In many cases, children pick up negative emotions toward their dentist from their parents.

At Smile in the City in NYC, we understand how difficult dental phobia in children can be. This is why we are dedicated to making your child feel comfortable and calm so we can take care of their dental health and hygiene. Dr. Schmidt and her caring professional staff, who are experts in dental phobia in NYC, have helped hundreds of children overcome their fear of visiting the dentist. Following, we share how to best address your child’s dental anxiety.

Positive Communication

Fear tends to grow when it is not being addressed properly. Pretending that the fear is not there and postponing (or forcing) dental visits often have an opposite effect on the situation. Simply talking about going to the dentist and managing your child’s expectations can make a big difference. A good way to address positive communication is by reading an informative children’s book about dental hygiene and the work of a dentist. Scheduling a consultation with an understanding dentist can also be a good solution to build up positive experiences.

Regular Visits to a Child-Friendly Dentist

When a child is afraid to go to the dentist, scheduling an appointment can be an ordeal. It can be a challenge for any parent to deal with this in a constructive way. The best way to address this is to make regular appointments for check-ups. Fear has a tendency to diminish when positive experiences are created. The structure of regular visits prevents a build-up of negative emotions and increasing fear. Be sure to choose a child-friendly dentist who is specialized in dental anxiety. At Smile in the City, we understand dental anxiety and make visits to our NYC office as comfortable as possible.

Agree Upon a Stop Sign

A big part of dental anxiety in children relates to the feeling of losing control. The more familiar the situation, the better. Information about oral hygiene, the function of teeth in the human body, visiting a dental practice for a tour, and knowing the dentist makes the situation more familiar and therefore less scary. Finding ways to give a child a sense of control during the visit will empower them and increase their self-confidence. In collaboration with the dentist, you can agree upon a stop sign with them. If the check-up or treatment gets too scary, your child can indicate this with a stop sign. The dentist can respond to this by taking a little break and putting your child at ease.

Mild Sedation

When dental anxiety in children triggers panic attacks and creates a situation that makes a visit or dental treatment impossible, mild sedation can be a temporary solution. At Smile in the City, we always encourage parents and children to take dental anxiety seriously and consider seeking specialized attention to help overcome your child’s fear. Mild sedation will help keep your child calm during a dental procedure. Intravenous Sedation (IV) is proven to be effective in relaxing the patient and ease any discomfort without the burden of a long recovery.

How can Smile in the City Help my Child Overcome Dental Anxiety?

Our highly skilled staff at Smile in the City in NYC specializes in treating both adults and children who are afraid to go to the dentist. Our NYC dental phobia experts have ample experience on how to best address your child’s dental anxiety and are dedicated to making your child feel safe and comfortable. We provide a stress-free environment in our NYC office with soothing design, soft music, and the option of watching TV during the visit. Feel free to book a consultation today to meet our caring professionals.

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