6 Ways to Prepare Your Child if They are Nervous About Going to a Family Dentist in Etobicoke

No One is Alone in Their Dental Anxiety


Whether it is a routine check-up or a lengthy procedure, the reality is that many people (both adult and children) experience anxiety as a result of having to go to their family dentist. Some children are anxious about the pain associated with some dental procedures, some are nervous around new people, and some are afraid of things us parents will never understand. Whatever anxieties your child may have, establishing these six methods of preparation can make anyone’s trip to their family dentist a smooth one.


1. Share Anxiety with a Dental Professional 

Talking about problems is a well-tested way in setting a person’s mind at ease. Every child has a different mindset that shapes the way they act in different situations. Dental professionals now understand that mental health and oral health can often intersect. So, when a family dentist is aware of their patient’s anxieties, they can formulate procedures that can cater to that child’s needs.


2. Ask for Explanations

Sometimes fear emerges from the unknown elements of dentistry. Thus, it is important that a person’s questions be specific. Specific questions prevent overwhelming answers that might confuse an individual, especially a child. The ability for a child to hear the answers to questions that are making them nervous can set their mind at ease. Creating an environment based on informed consent with your family dentist is what every person (young or old) should aim for. 


3. Stay Nourished Before an Appointment 

Nutrition can contribute significantly to the mindset of an individual headed to the dentist’s office. The increased level of calmness seen in a person with a full stomach as opposed to one with an empty stomach is well documented. In addition, choosing the right foods can further reduce anxiety. For example, avoid stimulants such as pop, sugary snacks, or high fatty foods. On the positive end, a healthy protein snack can allow for the balance of blood sugar levels and a decrease in irritability.


4. Bring Music with Headphones

It is undeniable that an individual can get lost in music. Arming your child with their favourite songs to a dental appointment can distract them from their own fear, drown out annoying dental equipment sounds and provide some entertainment.


5. Establish A Panic Signal

If the child becomes overwhelmed about what is happening in the dental chair, a panic signal can put the control of the procedure back into their hands. For example, a patient and their dentist can agree that when the patient raises their left hand during the procedure, all activity will stop immediately. This is a safe method of communication between the patient and dental professional that can reduce the anxiety of the patient.  


6. Establish a Trusting Relationship with a Dental Professional
Possibly the most important element in reducing anxiety before a dental appointment is developing a trusting relationship with your family dentist. Knowing that a family dentist cares about the nervousness and fears that a child has, allows for the youngster to approach their appointment as what it is – just another person taking good care of them!

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