Jan 18 2023

Children’s Dentist in Overland Park: 6 Ways to Help Anxious Kids Visit the Dentist

Smiling Boy in a Parking Lot

It’s normal for children to be scared of new experiences. And since kids typically only visit the dentist twice a year, it may be several years before your little one remembers and recognizes what is happening. Plus, some kids continue to feel nervous at the thought of dental care. Anxiety is normal. And it is manageable, especially when you visit an experienced children’s dentist in Overland Park

Dr. Matt and his team at Smiles Dentistry for Kids focus exclusively on pediatric care. Our bright, colorful office is full of activities and visuals to keep kids distracted and entertained. Most importantly, our fun-loving and understanding team love working with kids. We know how to help children feel at home so that they look forward to their dental visits year after year.

Contact your children’s dentist in Overland Park to schedule an appointment.

1. Visit the Office in Advance 

For some kids, just being in a new environment can be a harrowing experience. That’s why schools offer a “meet the teacher” event before the first day of the academic year. If your child is ill at ease in new places, come into our office beforehand to get a taste of what to expect.

2. Talk about What Will Happen

In accord with American Dental Association guidelines, Dr. Matt recommends that children have their first dental appointment as soon as their teeth come in or no later than their first birthday. At this age, of course, kids probably don’t have the vocabulary to understand what will happen. But if your child is older, talking about what to expect can really set her mind at ease.

Discuss your own experiences at the dentist, but, of course, use positive language. However, if you have struggled with dental anxiety yourself, it can be helpful to share. Talk about how you overcame your fears and had a positive experience.

3. Read Books about the Dentist

There are lots of books about the dentist. Find an age-appropriate one to read aloud. Use it as an opportunity to discuss your child’s own upcoming appointment. Read it for the first time several weeks prior to the visit, and reread it several times before coming into the office

4. Bring a Lovey

Does your child have a security blanket or favorite stuffed animal? Bring it with you! We welcome all favorite dolls, dogs, bears, blankets, trucks, and more! 

5. Find a Compassionate Dentist Specifically for Kids

There are many gentle dentists who work with anxious patients. Nonetheless, a dentist who exclusively sees children may be better able to set anxious kids at ease

As your children’s dentist in Overland Park, Dr. Matt offers a full range of pediatric dental services, including preventive care and emergency treatment. Your child will see the same dentist every time. We want children to understand what is going on and will use age-appropriate vocabulary to explain every step of treatment. Plus, our welcoming office has cartoons, movies, and video games to keep kids entertained! 

6. Offer Sedation, If Needed

For many kids, our expertise and welcoming environment is enough to set them at ease. But if your child suffers from more severe anxiety or is preparing for an extensive procedure, we can also provide nitrous oxide sedation. More commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is safe and wears off quickly. Our team is appropriately trained in the use of sedation and will carefully monitor your child throughout treatment.

Contact a Fun, Gentle Children’s Dentist in Overland Park

Dental care should be a pleasant experience – both for your child and for you! Contact our office to schedule your stress-free appointment. 

You can reach us online or call us at (913) 685-9990.

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