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Is your little one scared to go to the dentist? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Many children (and even adults!) feel nervous about dental visits. But don’t let fear get in the way of your kiddo’s oral health—there are plenty of ways to make those trips to the dentist a breeze. Our children’s dentist in Overland Park, KS, is here to help!

Experts believe that around 30% of children and adolescents experience dental fear and anxiety. While these feelings of fear can be debilitating, they don’t have to be. At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, you and your little one can explore anxiety-reducing options, like sedation dentistry. Call our dentist in Overland Park, KS, at (913) 685-9990 for more information!

Today, Dr. Matt reveals five soothing solutions to help your child conquer their fear and even look forward to their next appointment.

1. Meet the Dentist Before the Big Day

One of the best ways to help a child who is scared to go to the dentist is to arrange a friendly meet-and-greet with the dentist before the actual appointment. This casual visit can help your child become familiar with the dentist and the office environment without the pressure of an exam. 

2. Play Pretend Dentist at Home

Children love to play pretend, so why not use this to your advantage? Set up a mini dental clinic at home with your child’s favorite stuffed animals or dolls as patients. Let your child take on the role of the dentist, and you can be the assistant. 

This fun activity can demystify the process and make your child feel more in control when it’s time for their real appointment.

3. Talk About Sedation Dentistry

For some children who are especially scared to go to the dentist, sedation dentistry can be a wonderful solution. There are different types of sedation available, depending on your child’s needs and the procedure:

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

This is a mild form of sedation that helps relax your child while keeping them awake. Dentists administer the gas through a small facemask that fits over the nose. This odorless, colorless gas wears off very quickly, allowing your child to resume their normal activities after dental visits.

Oral Sedation

This involves giving your child a medication to swallow before the appointment. The medication makes patients feel drowsy and calm, with the effects wearing off over several hours. 

IV Sedation

Dentists reserve intravenous (IV) sedation for more extensive procedures or those with extreme dental anxiety. IV sedation will make your child deeply relaxed and sleepy. 

4. Read Books and Watch Shows About the Dentist

There are plenty of children’s books and TV shows that feature friendly dentists and brave kids who visit them. Reading stories or watching episodes about dental visits can help your child understand what to expect and see that it’s not so scary after all

5. Reward and Praise Bravery

Positive reinforcement goes a long way in helping a child who is scared to go to the dentist. Create a reward system where your child earns a small prize for being brave before, during, and after their visit. 

Praise their courage and remind them how proud you are of them. Celebrating their bravery can turn a daunting experience into a confidence-boosting achievement.

Scared to go to the dentist? We can help!

If your child is scared to go to the dentist, it’s perfectly normal, and with a little creativity and preparation, you can help them overcome their fears. Want to learn more about how to make dental visits fun and stress-free? Contact Dr. Matt Hillman at Smiles Dentistry for Kids online, or call our Overland Park, KS, dental office at (913) 685-9990 for more advice.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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