Children’s dental care can be challenging for dentists. A child’s dental anxiety can be intense, and a child’s fear has the potential to ruin a dental visit before it begins. Thus, it is important for pediatric dentists to be able to soothe a child’s dental anxiety to have a successful office visit. This article outlines how to do so.
First meeting with a child
How you meet a child for the first time can permanently reduce a child’s dental anxiety. Meeting a child and his or her parents in the waiting room can ease fears. Children will be more open to meeting you while they are with their parents. This is more effective than first meeting a child seconds before beginning a procedure.
Importance of Positive Reinforcement
A child’s dental anxiety can stem from stories from friend or from their favorite television show. Because of their fear, many children do not know how to act in a dentist’s chair. It is important to let children know they are acting appropriately in an unfamiliar place such as a dentist’s office. Verbal reinforcement, such as saying “good job” will let children know they are behaving properly.
The Art of Distraction
Distraction may be your best bet to ease a child’s dental anxiety. Many pediatric dental offices have methods to distract children such as brightly colored toys, handheld video games, and televisions playing cartoons. These methods can distract a child’s dental anxiety and make the dental appointment more enjoyable for everyone.