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How to Encourage Fearful Children to Enjoy The Dentist

Dental phobia is quite common. In fact, between 5-8% of Americans avoid the dentist completely due to anxiety, and 20% said they would only go out of pure necessity. The best way to eliminate your child’s worries is to team up with your dentist. For example, it never hurts to call ahead of time to let your dentist know that your child is anxious before you arrive for your appointment.
Dr. Brusky, known for his gentle dental examinations, reminds parents that a little fear is a perfectly normal response to any perceived threat. There are five main factors that contribute to your child’s fear of the dental chair. They are:

  • Fear or anticipation of pain
  • A lack of trust in the dentist or fear of betrayal
  • Fear of losing control
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of having someone in their personal space

Helping dental-phobic children analyze their fear, face it, and finally overcome it is a common issue most pediatric dentists face.
Here are a few ways you can partner with your dentist to create a comfortable visit for your child.
Dental Fear and Anxiety in Children in Howard
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Communicate Openly – Explain to your child the importance of dental hygiene and check-ups. The best way to ensure that your child grows up with healthy teeth and gums is to start with a good foundation.
Since dental phobia usually stems from children being afraid of new and potentially threatening situations, let your child know what to expect during the upcoming appointment. Describe the sights, smells, and tastes they will experience, and any sensations they can expect.
When your child sees that the dental office is just how you described it, it allows them to realize their first impressions were incorrect and that perhaps a dental check-up can be fun.

During Your Child’s Dental Examination

Dr. Brusky has experience dealing with anxious patients and understands how stressful this situation can be for parents and children. He is willing to give extra care and attention to ensure your child is comfortable. He may even choose to demonstrate a procedure beforehand so that your child feels more at ease.
A Pain-Free Experience – If your child is worried that their visit will be painful, provide reassurance. Whether your child is going for a routine cleaning or needs a filling, there is no reason to expect pain. Dr. Brusky uses the most current dental technology and techniques to deliver painless dentistry so your child can always expect gentle dental procedures.
Answer Questions – Encourage your child to ask questions. Our friendly staff, as well as Dr. Brusky, are available for questions before, during, and after each exam. An open dialog helps create a positive relationship between your child and the dentist that will facilitate future visits.
Be A Role Model – You are the most influential person in your child’s life. Let your child watch while you have your teeth cleaned. Your confident and fearless attitude will be contagious. Dr. Brusky would also like to remind you to always speak positively about the dentist and the benefits of regular cleanings whenever your child is within earshot.
Play Pretend – Roleplay the dental appointment with your child. Count their teeth, look in their mouth with a light, and praise them for having a healthy smile. Then switch and let them be a dentist. Eliminating the unknown element of a dental visit may alleviate your child’s fears.
To learn more about easing your child’s fear of the dentist, contact Dr. Brusky today. He and his experienced staff will win your child’s trust.

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