Help Your Child Overcome Dental Anxiety | Orthodontist in Palos Hills

Your dentist can offer the best services and cutting-edge technology, but if your child is gripped by fear at the mention of the dentist, it can overshadow all the positive aspects. At Paul DiFranco Orthodontics of Palos Hills, we prioritize the comfort and confidence of all our patients, regardless of their age. However, we can’t do it alone when it comes to children. Kids are highly perceptive and often take cues from their parents about how to feel. Here are some recommendations to help your child feel safe and secure during dental visits.

  • Keep It Casual 

The best advice for parents is not to make a big fuss about your child’s dental appointments. If your child senses anxiety in you, they are likely to feel the same way. Treat dental visits as something routine and normal, similar to going to the grocery store. Children are often more receptive and resilient than we give them credit for. To normalize dental visits, start early by scheduling your child’s first appointment as soon as they get their first tooth. Positive experiences from an early age can prevent future anxieties.

  • Meet and Greet 

Consider scheduling a brief 5-minute appointment for your child to meet the dentist and establish a relationship. If your child sees the dentist as a friendly figure, they will be more inclined to trust them with their oral care. Encourage this trust by discussing the dentist as someone who creates a fun and calm environment. Avoid using the dentist as a form of punishment, as it can associate the dental experience with fear, punishment, and pain.

  • Less Talk, More Presence 

When accompanying your child to the dentist, your level of involvement may vary based on the anxiety you and your child are experiencing. Our experienced team has found that assuring your child of your presence nearby throughout the visit can be comforting. Depending on the situation, you may choose not to be in the room while your child’s teeth are being cleaned. If you have fears or anxiety about the situation, your child will pick up on it, and it may be better for you not to be present. Additionally, your presence can distract both the dentist and your child. However, for some children, your presence can be extremely helpful. Ultimately, you know your child’s needs best.

It is widely recognized by dentists that the success of treatments depends on the patient’s cooperation. Ensure that your child’s dental visits are beneficial and stress-free. Feel free to contact our Palos Hills office if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.