Ways to Alleviate Dental Anxiety for Children

Children aren’t just little adults. What you might consider a mild annoyance or discomfort could in fact be a terror-filled and excruciating experience for a little one.

This is why pediatric dentistry exists. It is a discipline in its own right requiring an additional two years of residency training and course work in such things as child psychology and child oral trauma.

Does your child need a pediatric dentist?

  • Pediatric dentists have the know-how and experience to put your child at ease. This is a must if you want your child to receive complete and thorough care now to avert problems that could balloon into painful, chronic and costly conditions later in life.
  • They help manage gum disease, provide early assessment and treatment for crooked teeth and improper bite, give advice on thumb sucking, pacifier use and diet, offer cleaning and fluoride treatments as preventive measures, and repair tooth cavities, defects and dental injuries
  • A pediatric dentist is also trained to spot early oral conditions associated with diseases like ADHD, hay fever, asthma, congenital heart defects and diabetes

What can you and your pediatric dentist do to help alleviate your child’s anxiety at the dentist’s office?

  • Before a visit: children function best in a predictable environment, so let them know in advance what sensations they might experience—noises, vibrations, tastes. Consider having a play pretend dental visit at home before the real one. Picture books are available to help give your child an idea of what to expect.
  • Watch the words! Terms like “shot,” “hurt” and “pain” are a big no-no. Let the dental staff help you choose the correct phrases and words to make the experience less stressful.
  • Leave your own anxieties at home! Children may pick up on your fears, so a great first step to keeping them calm is to be calm yourself. 
  • In the waiting room: pediatric dentists will have their waiting rooms specifically designed for children to distract themselves. Let your little one relax.
  • In the dentist’s office: let the staff guide the process. And don’t worry if your child doesn’t behave like you know she can. It’s normal for a child to cry, whine and wriggle and not want to have a stranger’s fingers in her mouth. The pediatric dental staff has seen it all and will let you know how you can best help.
  • After the visit, be comforting, but emphasize that dentistry is a necessity and not a choice. Explain how important teeth are and why occasional visits to the dentist are necessary.

If you are looking for a pediatric dentist in Red Deer, please give Dr. Caroline Krivuzoff-Sanderson a call at 403-346-0077. Our Red Deer dental clinic is there to serve your entire family’s needs.

Dr. Caroline's Red Deer dental clinic offers a trusting and comfortable environment for your little ones. Give Dr. Caroline a call today to make an appointment with a pediatric dentist in Red Deer.