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Child Scared of Going to the Dentist? Tips for Dealing with Dental Anxiety & Phobias in Children

Smile Reef

When it comes to your little ones, there isn’t anything you wouldn’t do to make them happy. But unfortunately, there are still some things that are in their best interest that you have to force on them. Not all kids enjoy school, yet you want them to be educated, so you make them go. When your child is in need of shots or to see the doctor, though they are fearful of needles, you encourage them through the experience to contribute to better health. The same example can be said of the dentist. Children are generally standoffish with strangers intruding in close proximity. Add a dentist who is intrusive in their mouth; most can understand the fear associated.

Smile Reef Share Some Tips to Help Your Child Work through Their Fear of Going to the Dentist

1. Don’t Delay Dental Visits. A common mistake a lot of parents do is waiting for their children to be old enough to understand they are going to a dentist. Starting children young is actually more beneficial. It is recommended children start at age one or when they get their first tooth. Starting them young reinforces the routine and more often than not, the fear of a dentist manifests.
2. Don’t Talk About Dental Procedures. If your child is of age to speak, many will have questions. Keep it short and sweet. Don’t relate details, especially about cavity procedures and such. Doing so only gets their imagination and curiosity spinning, which will buildup unnecessary anxiety. Keep it simple and sweet with all the little one’s questions.
3. Positive Dental Outlook. We have found it is best to avoid using words like “shot”, “pain”, and “hurt” kind of words. No one is eager to be involved in anything that contributes pain, especially children. Let your little inquisitors know the dentist is looking for tiny sugar beasts, or the dentist is merely going to count their teeth. It helps put their mind at ease.
4. Mock Dentist Role Play. Consider a play time where you are the dentist and the child is your patient. Have toy instruments common for a dentist and go through the basic motions. Make sure it is a fun and exciting time filled with laughter. After 2 or 3 times, switch roles and let them be the dentist and you the patient.
5. Special Needs Dentist. Young children or those with special needs may fuss, protest, and cry. Be prepared for it, and be patient. You don’t have to be embarrassed your child is having a meltdown. Most dentists and office staff has been there and done that. Be patient with your child, calm reassurance is what they need. Often when parents lose patience and they display frustration and anger, the anxiety and fear in their children will, only build. Be relaxed and take your time getting them comfortable.
6. Avoid Bribing at the Dentist. Before the visit even happens, you may be tempted to offer them a reward if they behave at the dentist. This immediately makes a child suspicious of what is going to happen at a place they may cry or be unhappy at. Instead, make the dentist a special treat where the dentist is excited to meet them and see their big smiles or something along those lines.

Pediatric Dentistry in Las Vegas, Nevada

It is always important to instill the importance of oral hygiene in your kids. Remind them going to the dentist regularly helps keep their teeth healthy. For your child’s next appointment, contact Smile Reef today. We cater to kids, including those with special needs. We are patient and help your child get comfortable and relaxed.

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Dental Care Tips for Children; How to Strengthen Your Child’s Tooth Enamel & Help Avoid Tooth Decay

Smile Reef

If you want the best chance to protect your teeth from damage and decay, you want to do all that you can to protect the enamel on your teeth. The enamel is the part of the tooth that is white and happens to be the hardest surface on the entire human body, even harder than bone. The problem is that you really only get the enamel that you have and after it is damaged or reduced there is nothing you can do about it. Making sure that you are giving your children the basics to protecting their own enamel will be beneficial for decades to come. The enamel is the first barrier between your teeth getting damaged by bacteria so taking care of it is extremely important.

Smile Reef Lists Ways to Help Keep the Enamel on Your Child’s Teeth Strong & Protected

Stay Away From Sugar: This is good for all sorts of health reasons including oral care. Sugar is bad for your teeth and the inside of your mouth because it is the substance that helps to feed bacteria that leads to cavities and gum disease. When your teeth become damaged by a cavity the enamel is also damaged as well. When you are looking into a snack for the kids, give them options that are less sugary. That also includes avoiding drinks that are high in sugar such as soda and sports drinks and instead choosing water or milk.
Rinse Your Mouth After Eating: When you eat food you are getting it all over the interior or your mouth. You are also chewing the food which will cause the food to stick to teeth and in between your teeth as well. It is a great habit to form after eating to get a cup of water and rinse out your mouth after you eat a meal. This will eliminate lots of the foreign objects from your food that lead to bacteria growth. Have the children swish the water around their mouth while they are washing their hands and face after each meal.
Use Toothpaste with Fluoride: When you go to the store to pick out a toothpaste for your children don’t immediately go for the cutest packaging but really look at the ingredients. You want to look at the package and see if it has added fluoride in the paste. Fluoride aids in remineralization of the tooth enamel and will help to keep the enamel strong and intact.
Limit Citrus & Add Calcium Rich Foods: Foods that are high in acid are going to break down the enamel on your child’s teeth. Make sure you limit the amount of citric and acidic foods they have and increase foods that are high in calcium.
Visit the Dentist Regularly: As your child is growing and getting more and more permanent teeth you want to be sure that you have them examined and treated by a pediatric dentist. We will be able to find and treat any bacteria or disease that may be starting as well as aid in the strength of the enamel.

Expert Pediatric Dentistry & Care in Las Vegas Nevada.

Smile Reef cares about kids teeth! Contact us today to make an appointment for your child’s next visit!

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