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Tips to Help Your Child With Dental Anxiety

Posted on December 15, 2022

If you have an upcoming family orthodontist appointment for your child and they’re displaying signs of anxiety over the appointment, there are things you can do to help. About 3.8 million people see a family orthodontist in the United States, according to AOA. Many of them are apprehensive, just like your child. Here are five tips to put your child at ease.

Talk About What They Can Expect

Children often feel apprehensive about their family orthodontist appointment because they don’t know what to expect. It’s the fear of the unknown that feeds their dental anxiety. One way you can help is by talking about what they can expect. Being honest about the treatment and what the outcome will be can help to put their minds at ease.

Look for Resources Online

There are resources online that can help to ease your child’s anxiety about visiting the family orthodontist. For example, there are videos that show other children’s experiences at the orthodontist’s office that can help. Making the situation more familiar to them is a great way to reduce feelings of anxiety.

Share Your Own Experiences

If you or your partner wore braces as a child, talk about it. Tell your child about your experience, but don’t sugarcoat things. Be honest about how the experience was for you and share what your own fears were at the time. This can open the dialogue and help to determine exactly what it is your child is afraid of.

Make a Deal if You Must

Sometimes making a deal can help. Maybe your child wants a certain video game, or maybe an outing to a favorite spot. You can use this as leverage. Talk about how their reward will be waiting after the appointment. While bargaining will not eliminate the fear completely, it will give them something positive to look forward to which may keep their minds off their fear.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Tell Them About the Appointment

Some parents make the mistake of thinking that if they wait to tell their child about the appointment, then they’ll reduce long-term anxiety. However, no child wants to be surprised by going to the dentist. Start talking about the appointment right after you make the appointment. Doing so will give your child time to adjust to the idea of going.

If your child has dental anxiety, the right family orthodontist can help. Make an appointment with us at Dr. Bret Ortho today.

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