Dental anxiety – How to help your children

Dental anxiety – How to help your children

Parent’s have the job to keep their children both safe and healthy. It’s very common for kids to feel nervous and anxious when going to the dentists. It’s normal that they feel uncomfortable when a stranger wants to poke inside their mouth while they lay still for a certain amount of time. Even among adult Americans, approximately 15% of grown ups tend to avoid going to the dentists because they are afraid and anxious.

We ad Premier Family Dental understand the importance of good oral health but also how crucial is to make your children feel safe when they’re at the dentists. The experience they have as kids will stay with them and have a huge impact on the habits they develop throughout their lives. So, we would like to share with you a few tips on how you can ease your children into the process of coming to a dentist for an appointment.

Stop by for a visit

Before the actual appointment, you could stop by for a short visit. This will give your kid a chance to see our office, get to know our staff and surrounding so that it doesn’t look so strange the next time you come in for the real appointment.

Tell them what happens at during an appointment

Before you come if for your scheduled appointment, take some time, sit down with your child and explain to him/her what a dental exam is. Talk about what the doctor will say and do, and what is expected of him/her as a patient. This way you will eliminate any mystery about the appointment, your child will know exactly what to expect and there will be no surprises or anxiety.

If by any chance, you’re not entirely sure what goes on during a dental exam, make sure to contact us and our staff will tell you everything you need to know.

How can we help children relax?

In order to help children relax and calm their nerves, many pediatric dentists use the “Tell, Show and Do” approach. This is quite an affective way to guide the child into the world of dentistry and what it can expect from each and every appointment. The importance is to provide a supportive environment.

Now, dental offices have screens above dental chairs where they can play various videos and headphones that play the video sound for the patient. This way they are distracted from sounds and noises that might be frightening and scary for them.

Other dentists use various stories with silly and crazy details to keep the children entertained. They explain things in ways children will easily understand, even if that makes no sense to grown-ups. You can also talk about things they love. Children can go on and on about that.

In nature, the majority of children is quite inquisitive and want to know exactly what goes on in a dental chair, every single detail. Some pediatric dentists explain every procedure step-by-step while they’re at a certain stage. Sometime we name certain tools and substances differently so the children can relate e.g you can name the local anesthetic the “sleepy juice”.

With anxious patients you need to use a language they will understand and make the feel more comfortable. That’s why we take time to show and explain what’s happening (or what’s going to happen) in order to avoid any scary surprises.

As a parent, you shouldn’t let your kid’s anxiety get in the way of their healthy a good dental hygiene. Take the time, make the effort to explain to the what to expect and if you need additional help, feel free to contact us.


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Dr. Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen

Dr. Nguyen is committed to providing high-quality dentistry using state-of-the-art equipment to help you achieve improved oral health and the beautiful smile you deserve.

Dr. Nguyen has served on the Virginia Board of Dentistry and has many achievements such as: Invisalign Premier and Teen Provider, Pre-Fellow with Academy of General Dentistry, Graduate of Aesthetic Continuum, Engel Institute for Dental Implant Training, WaveOne Endodontic Training, HD President’s Club.

Dr. Nguyen enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters, staying active in the gym, and trying out new restaurants.  When he isn’t at work, you can find him playing basketball, tennis, football, or hiking.

“I want to make you feel right at home, exceed your expectations, and provide an amazing experience!”