How to Overcome Childhood Dental Anxiety

Dental Anxiety

Millions of people suffer from dental anxiety, and most of them can trace the roots of this problem back to their childhood. Indeed, fostering comfort with the dental office is something that should begin at an early age.

Tips to Help Dental Anxiety

You can help your child feel better about his or her dental appointments with Meadow Creek Dental in Issaquah by considering the following tips:

  • The general recommendation is that a child’s first dental visit should occur at the age of one. Bringing him or her in at an early age is not just a good way to prevent decay, but also a great way to acclimate the child to the experience of being in the dentist office.
  • Children have a surprising sense of the emotions of their parents. If you are anxious about visiting the dentist, your child could be picking up on this and learning from your example.
  • Present the dentist office to your child with a positive light, but avoid using language like “everything will be alright”. You want to avoid losing your child’s trust if he or she experiences discomfort during your visit.
  • Never offer your child a bribe to go to the dentist. Children are smart enough to realize that, when you promise them a reward, there must be something bad to look forward to.

When Should Children Begin Brushing On Their Own?

It can be difficult to know when your child should begin brushing by himself or herself. While it is important for a child to develop proper dental care habits at an early age, proper brushing requires a level of fine motor skills and an understanding that may be beyond your little ones. So, how do you get your children started brushing?

Early on, it is a good idea to allow your children to observe your own brushing habits. Have them do some practice brushing while you supervise, giving them a pea-sized drop of toothpaste and guiding their hands as necessary. Be sure that they know to cover all sides of their teeth, and not just the visible part of their frontal teeth. Further, inform them that they should not swallow their toothpaste, as the minty taste may lead them to assume that it is like candy.

Some children develop more quickly than others, but you can generally expect a child to start brushing independently by the age of six. Consult our Issaquah dentist to learn more about fostering good oral health in the youngest members of your family.