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Preventing and Overcoming Dental Anxiety in Children

Some children love coming to the dentist from day one and others take time to warm up. If your child gets upset during the visit, that it is normal behavior, because they are in an unfamiliar situation, please do not be alarmed or embarrassed. We are all trained to help fearful or anxious children through their dental experience, and as your child matures, we hope to encourage his or her independence and promote self-esteem.

If your child is older and has not been to the dentist yet, you should discuss the positive aspects of dentistry with them before the appointment. Try to act relaxed and at ease because if you are stressed and anxious, they will likely be stressed and anxious as well.

Please do not tell your child that the dentist will not hurt because the possibility of pain may have never entered his or her mind. Instead, Tell your child the dentist will be friendly and gentle. Do not use words such as needle, shot, pull, or other words that could create anxiety. We will explain our procedures in ways that your child can understand and will work to decrease any fear or anxiety they may have. For example, we call the suction device “Mr. Thirsty” and cavities “sugar bugs.”

Sometimes the dentist will prescribe Nitrous oxide “laughing gas” to relax the child for the dental visit. Nitrous oxide does not work for every child. Some children do not like the “floating” feeling or the feeling of the “moon mask”.

Nitrous oxide