Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Children

Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Children

Posted by Rio Rancho Family Dental Care on Mar 18 2023, 10:25 PM

Dental anxiety affects millions of Americans, including children. It is natural for a child to be uneasy about going to the dentist, but dental anxiety can be a significant obstacle when it comes to maintaining positive oral healthcare habits.

Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety in Kids 

Don’t wait until your child’s first tooth is loose to take them to the dentist for the first time. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends taking your baby to the dentist around the time they turn one year old, if not earlier. Starting dental care at a young age will help your child feel comfortable with the dentist’s chair early on, so they aren’t afraid when they do have to go to the dentist’s office later. 
  • Take something from home that comforts them and helps to make them feel more secure during the dental visit, like a stuffed toy or blanket.
  • Help your child get involved in the dental experience by playing educational games with them about visiting the dentist and including them in the preparation process. Research has shown that kids who are involved in visiting the dental office at a young age are more likely to enjoy going to the dentist when they get older.
  • Practice what you preach! Children often mimic their parents, and parents who are uncomfortable with visits to the dentist may pass these feelings on to their children. 
  • Keep a positive attitude! Let your kids know that you have confidence in your dentists and believe they have your child’s best interest at heart. Speak with a positive tone when talking about any upcoming dental appointments and be sure to praise them for good behavior after the appointment is over to reinforce the positive message you are sending to them.
  • Just like any good relationship, communication is key – so be sure to communicate with your dentist about how you’re feeling and the concerns you have. Your children will be much more receptive to listening if they hear you talking positively about your dental experiences in the past and your current feelings about what is coming up.
  • Help them relax by practicing positive feelings about dentists and their offices. Bring your child to the office with you during your appointments so that they can get accustomed to the environment.
  • Take the pressure off by explaining that a dentist’s job is to help their patients take care of their teeth and gums.
  • Speak positively about your own experiences at the dental office.
  • Finally, encourage your children to take care of their teeth at home with regular brushing and flossing. Children learn how to take care of themselves from their parents. Setting a good example can help them develop good oral health habits that can last a lifetime.

Find out more about oral health by scheduling an appointment at the Rio Rancho Family Dental Care clinic. Call us at (505) 891-4510 or drop in at our dental office, located at 4041 Ridge Rock Rd SE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124. 

Leave A Reply

Please fill all the fields.



4041 Ridge Rock Rd SE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124

Phone: (505) 891-4510

Office Hours

MON - FRI 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

SAT - SUN Closed

Closed on Major Holidays

Get in Touch


Call: (505) 891-4510