How To Ease Your Family’s Dental Anxiety

ease dental anxiety

Dental anxiety comes in different forms and at different ages.

Healthy habits and behaviors are shared between family members. Love snacking on carrots and ranch? Enjoy riding your bike through the neighborhood? Chances are good that your kids do too.

Dental anxiety is no different. It affects all ages and can be passed from one family member to another. It’s also common for children to have dental caries if their parent has dental fear or anxiety. The good news is that dental anxiety can be overcome. As well as these tips that we have for you below, it may also be worth it if you visit website here. If you are someone who suffers with dental anxiety, it’s always good to know that there are ways of managing these symptoms.

Read on for tips to ease your family’s dental anxiety.

Dental Fear is Contagious

It’s difficult for a child to draw the connection, “My mom is anxious because they don’t like the idea of going to the dentist.” It’s much easier for a child to think, “My mom doesn’t like the dentist because the dentist is bad.” Because of this, children should have no idea that their parent fears the dentist. If you experience anxiety about dental appointments, it’s important to educate yourself and other adult family members on how to not communicate this fear to younger children. Make sure you go to a local dentist, and find someone who you feel comfortable with. This will also put your children at ease too!

Luckily, pediatric dentists are trained to handle your child during their appointment. Most dentists actually encourage parents to let them do the talking. Many times when an anxious parent or guardian tries to make a dental visit less frightening, they actually make the child more nervous.

Good Oral Health Habits Start Early

Teaching your children to brush their teeth twice a day is–and helping them do so when they are too small to brush on their own–is a great start to a lifetime of good oral health. But it’s also important to help your child develop a healthy relationship with their dentist at a young age. In fact, children should have their first trip to the dentist by age 1. This has many positive benefits:

  • Your child will learn to trust the dentist from an early age, preventing future dental anxiety.
  • Your child form the habit of visiting their dentist every 6 months, which they will carry for a lifetime.
  • And you’re giving your child the opportunity to learn about their smile health and their overall health.

As a parent or guardian, stay positive and calm. Don’t overexcite your child about the dentist, and don’t tell them, “It’s not a big deal,” or, “It will only hurt a little.” Tone conveys stress level, and your child has been trained to pick up on your emotional undertones.

Bringing a comforting item from home can help your child feel in control of their surroundings. A blanket or favorite toy is soothing and can feel familiar and provide a distraction.

Pediatric Dentists Help Kids Feel Comfortable

If you started taking your child to the dentist as an infant or toddler, they’re no doubt familiar with routine dental appointments. Are you taking your child to your general dentist? Consider if that’s the best dentist for them. A pediatric dentist is trained to move more quickly and efficiently than a dentist who works on adults. They’re educated in (and after) dental school on the best ways to distract and keep kids still for their cleanings.

Additionally, pediatric dentists have offices designed with kids in mind! Colorfully painted walls, toys and age-appropriate music can also help your child feel like the dentist office is a fun, safe place.

Sometimes choosing a reward that your child can have after each dental visit can help ease their dental anxiety. Some pediatric dentists even offer their own rewards, allowing kids to choose an item from a treasure box after their exam. This positive reinforcement can help children develop positive feelings toward the dentist as they grow up.

Use Education To Empower Teenagers

Like adults, fear of pain is a major contributor to a teen’s dental anxiety. They also may be embarrassed about their dental health.

If your teen resists when it’s time for a dental appointment, use education to help them become comfortable. Talk to your teen about how they view the dentist. What are their expectations? What about the dentist makes him or her fearful? You may be surprised how much talking can help. Chances are there’s a misconception feeding their anxiety. If you’d don’t feel prepared to discuss this with your teenager, ask your dentist to. They can offer stories about other teens who’ve overcome their fear of dental appointments once they got to know their dentist.

Relaxation and breathing techniques can also be helpful at the dentist. Anxiety causes us to breathe in shorter, shallower breaths. This becomes stressful, especially when tools are taking up our mouth space. Calming this anxiety with deep, intentional breaths is an important skill that can help ease dental anxiety.

If all else fails, you may want to talk to your dentist about how advances in dental technology can help reduce your teenager’s dental anxiety. Cleanings and procedures can be virtually pain-free today because of numbing agents, advanced tool technology, and sedation.

Solutions for Parents with Dental Anxiety

Adults and teens often have some of the same fears about going to the dentist. Prevention and past experience are also important elements when addressing adult anxiety about the dentist. Brush and floss regularly, and avoid sugary foods and drinks. Make sure the dentist has as little as possible to do during the visit!

Additionally, if you’re avoiding the dentist because of a prior dental experience, study up on how dentistry has advanced since you last visited. With tool innovations and new technologies making an appointment virtually painless, it’s time to experience what the dentists of today can offer. If you find this still isn’t helping you and your anxiety about the dentist is getting too much, you could consider looking into products from Yours Nutrition to keep your anxiety at bay.

If your dental anxiety is triggered when your child visits the dentist, consider having a grandparent or friend take your child to their dental appointment. Your child won’t see you have a negative reaction to the dentist. This will keep their experience positive, upbeat, and, most of all, personal.

A positive, comfortable relationship with your dentist or your child’s dentist is extremely important to easing dental anxiety. Anxiety at any age can be eased when you’re comfortable with those who are taking care of your teeth.

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20 Responses to “How To Ease Your Family’s Dental Anxiety”

  1. Rosie Beckett
    01/09/2019 at 1:13 pm #

    My daughter recently turned one and I am thinking about taking her to a family dentist for the first time, so I am glad that I found this article. I did not realize that early dental visits have so many benefits for children like the fact that my daughter will learn to trust her dentist from a young age. This way she won’t have anxiety about dental visits in the future. Plus, it would give me peace of mind to take her to a family dentist who specializes in pediatric dentistry because they will have the most training and experience to work with my daughter.

  2. Caden Dahl
    01/23/2019 at 6:35 pm #

    You are right that good oral health habits start early. I know that I don’t do the best job at that. I’ll probably go to a dentist and see what they could recommend to me.

  3. Michael Lee
    01/30/2019 at 7:49 am #

    You give great advice on how to help your kids overcome the fear of the dentist. I’ll have to try being more excited about the dentist. Hopefully, this will make it easier to take them to the family dental office.

  4. Penelope Smith
    02/15/2019 at 10:49 pm #

    This is some really good information about dental anxiety. It is good to know that you should think about finding a dentist that will help your kids feel okay to go to the dentist. It does seem like a good thing to understand as a young parent.

  5. Dave Anderson
    03/01/2019 at 5:03 pm #

    That is a good piece of advice to talk to my teen about how they see the dentist. Maybe it would be a good idea to do that and see why they don’t like the dentist. Then we could take them to the dentist without my son having to worry about anything.

  6. Dean Phillips
    03/04/2019 at 4:42 pm #

    I liked how the article mentioned how you can avoid dental anxiety by brushing and flossing regularly as well as avoiding sugary foods and drinks. My wife and I recently moved to a new town with our two sons who all need to see a dentist, but are nervous to go. It would be great for them to meet with a professional who can help them understand the importance of regular dental visits and oral hygiene.

  7. Dave Anderson
    03/11/2019 at 4:02 pm #

    That is really nice that going to the children’s dentist could help my child to become more familiar with the routines. Maybe I should start taking them to the dentist so that they could get used to it. Then they would be comfortable when they get older.

  8. Thomas Jameson
    05/07/2019 at 9:55 am #

    I’m glad I read up about pediatric and family dentists. I didn’t realize there was a difference between pediatric and general dentists. In the future, I will be sure to bring my children to a pediatric dentist to relieve their anxiety about being there and help the whole process go more smoothly.

    • Ryan Boulding →
      05/10/2019 at 9:45 am #

      We’re glad this article helped you, Thomas!

  9. Ellie Davis
    06/24/2019 at 9:29 am #

    I liked that you mentioned your children must know about your fear of going to the dentist. Our kids sense our fear, and it will affect them for future visits or even further. Having a relax and positive attitude will help your kid to go through that process without a problem.

    • Ryan Boulding →
      06/24/2019 at 10:18 am #


  10. Dennis Sanchez
    07/18/2019 at 12:17 pm #

    I like that you mentioned that good habits for oral health start early and that parents should teach their children proper oral care. I haven’t been the best example for my daughter on brushing teeth. I will have to talk to my family dentist to get some advice on how I can be a better example.

    • Ryan Boulding →
      07/23/2019 at 9:04 am #

      We’re glad you recognize this and will work on being a better example, Dennis.

  11. Skylar Williams
    08/26/2019 at 9:10 am #

    When you pointed out that it is easy for children to associate anxiety about going to the dentist with the dentist being bad it makes them also anxious too. I just moved to another state with my husband and three children and it’s almost time for our checkups. I will make sure to stay calm and keep any negative commentary about the dentist out of my conversation.

    • Ryan Boulding →
      09/03/2019 at 1:17 pm #

      Great idea, Skylar.

  12. Patricia
    08/27/2019 at 2:45 am #

    Visiting a dentist at an early stage is recommended, and it is advisable to make that first visit as fun and comfortable so that it will give them an excitement to go back for the second time and/or on regular basis.

    • Ryan Boulding →
      09/03/2019 at 1:15 pm #

      Exactly, Patricia!

  13. Vivian Black
    10/04/2019 at 5:28 pm #

    I love your tip about staying positive and calm in order to not stress a child out about going to the dentist. Promoting good feelings about the dentist will make it much easier to have a child build good hygiene habits. My family is looking for a family dentist in Dalton, GA and these tips will really help my children, husband, and I transition much easier to whichever professional we choose.

    • Ryan Boulding →
      10/07/2019 at 1:51 pm #

      We’re glad you found this blog post helpful, Vivian!

  14. Jay Jorgenson
    10/08/2019 at 7:05 am #

    My children are nervous about going to the dentist. I like how you explain that going to a local dentist who you feel comfortable with will also put your children at ease. Thank you for the advice. I’ll search for a dentist who I feel comfortable with and present them to my children so they can lose their fear.

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