Find a Trusted Dentist

If you want to help your child overcome her or his dental fears, establish a relationship with a qualified dentist who has experience working with kids. At McLean DDS, we love our young patients! Our practice understands the unique dental needs of children. We encourage parents to communicate any fears or concerns their kids may have so that we can help make their dental experience one that feels comfortable, safe and fun.

Start Visits Early

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children visit the dentist around the time of their first birthday or approximately six months after their first tooth erupts from the gums. Starting visits early can help kids develop a positive association with the dentist, reduce stress for future appointments, and build a foundation of good oral health habits that they carry with them into adulthood.

Set a Good Example

If you personally suffer from dental anxiety, it is likely that your child will as well. Parents can set a good example at home by talking positively about their dental experiences. Practice good oral hygiene in front of your children and avoid showing any signs of nervousness about upcoming treatments, such as a root canal or filling. When you’re enthusiastic about your oral health, your child will make the connection that going to the dentist is something to look forward to — not to fear.

Make Dentistry Fun

If your child is young, find ways to make the dentist exciting and fun. You can role play at home by taking turns pretending to be the dentist and patient. Read books or watch videos about going to the dentist as an easy way to learn about oral health. Through playtime activities, you can help reduce your child’s fears about the dentist by teaching her or him what to expect at an appointment.

Consider Sleep Dentistry

Finally, if you’ve tried the techniques above but your child is still feeling nervous about the dentist, talk to McLean DDS about sedation dentistry. Nitrous oxide (or laughing gas) is a safe, easy way we can help your child relax and feel more comfortable in the dental chair.

Laughing gas is inhaled through a mask worn over the nose. Within a few minutes, children feel relaxed and sleepy, but remain conscious and alert throughout the entire treatment. Once the gas is turned off, the effects wear off quickly and the child can return to normal activities.

Talk to a Dentist About Your Child’s Dental Fears

If your child has dental anxiety, talk to a dentist at McLean DDS. Our dentists and staff are trained to cater to the emotional needs of kids in a calm, welcoming environment. Our professional and compassionate team can answer any questions you have about your child’s dental health, including how to help your child successfully undergo any necessary treatments if she or he is scared. Request an appointment or call 703-745-5226 today.

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