3 Easy Tips for Helping Young Patients with Dental Anxiety | Dental City Blog

Nod your head if you just loved going to the dentist as a kid. Anyone? Maybe someone way in the back? Alright, then.

Even though you may love working in the dental industry now, as a kid you may recall the moments leading up to you dental appointment with a mixture of uneasy anticipation or even downright dread. So shouldn’t helping today’s kids avoid those fears be one of our top priorities?

Ah, good, now we’ve got some heads nodding. Read on to find out how you can do just that.

  1. Distract them in the waiting room

    Offer various activities for young patients to participate in so they can focus on something besides the appointment “waiting game.” Have a couple tablets on hand with kid-friendly cartoons, shelves with children’s books, or a corner filled with games and coloring books to keep them calm and create positive associations with your practice.

  2. Build a relationship

    Don’t just jump right into the appointment. Instead make an effort to create a bond with your patient. Try out a simple magic trick, tell a joke, or ask for feedback on the activities in your waiting room. Give the child some time to get comfortable with their surroundings and you, the dental professional.

  3. Reinforce positive experiences

    If your pediatric patient does well during his or her appointment—reward them for that. Whether that means verbal praise or an extra token from your prize box, showing them that keeping calm during the appointment leads to a much more positive dental experience will only improve future visits.

Sources:
The management of dental anxiety: time for a sense of proportion?
Cartoons relieve kids’ anxiety before anesthesia