Does Your Child Stress Out About Dental Work? 4 Ways To Prevent Dental Anxiety

If anxiety is keeping your child from receiving the dental care they need, you might need to intervene. Dental anxiety can range from mild apprehension to downright fear. Unfortunately, delaying dental procedures can result in further damage, which means that your child might require more extensive dental procedures. Here are four things you can do to help your child through the anxiety.


Kids need to know what's going to happen. If you're child has dental anxiety, try utilizing the tell-show-do approach.  On the day of the appointment, ask the dentist to take a few minutes to explain the procedure to your child. With the tell-do-show approach, the dentist will tell your child what they're going to do. Then show them what tools they'll be using, as well as the sounds that equipment will make. Finally, once your child is comfortable, the dentist will do the procedure.

Use a Distraction

If the sights and sounds associated with the dental chair make your child nervous, try a distraction. A handheld game system will allow your child to focus on a game while they're work is being done. For best results, provide your child with headphones to make sure that they don't hear the sounds that going on around them.

Downplay the Anxiety

When it comes to dental anxiety, words can make all the difference in the world. If your child is anxious about the dental work they're going to have, try to downplay that anxiety. Instead of asking if your child is nervous about the dentist, try asking if they're excited to have their tooth repaired. The focus on the positive can help your child change their attitude, which can reduce the anxiety level.

Discuss Sedation

If you've tried everything and your child's anxiety is still getting in the way of their dental work, you should discuss sedation with the dentist. There are various types of sedation that can help relax your child so that they can have their work done. For mild anxiety, the dentist may be able to use nitrous oxide during the procedure. This will provide your child with a calming effect. For more significant anxiety, be sure to discuss an oral sedative that can be given to your child prior to the appointment.

If your child suffers from dental anxiety, try the techniques discussed above to help calm them down. Be sure to speak to your dentist, one like Milan Simanek DDS, about other ways to treat your child's anxiety.