Dental anxiety is not only a problem for adults. This is a huge issue with children, too. Dentists, hygienists, and parents struggle to put the children at ease. As a result, most pediatric dentists are challenged to make their patients relax. When children scream, cry, or move on their chair, that’s a stressful situation for any dentist. A lot of problems and accidents can arise from these situations, too.
A pediatric dentist should find ways to ease the anxiety of their patients. This is the challenge that they face every day. How can a dentist calm these kids down enough for them to perform what dental procedure needs to be done?
Let Their Parents Stay by Their Side
As long as it doesn’t interfere with what you’re doing, let their parents hold their hands while they sit on the dental chair. This will help calm down the kid and comfort them. If they know that their parents are nearby or holding their hands, they will be more relaxed. That creates a more comfortable work environment for the dentist as well. For parents, leaving your kid alone on that chair might traumatize them more than strengthening their resolve to “get it over with.”
Talk to the Kid
Don’t underestimate children. They can perfectly understand what will be done on them. Explain the procedure. Find a thing or an event that you can compare it to so that they will understand better. Do they love superhero movies? Maybe you can make them pretend to be a superhero and that the procedure will make them more powerful.
Find ways to connect with your patients. Walking them through what will happen might sate their fears. This will also show that you are not underestimating their ability to understand what’s about to happen.
Smile to the Kid
Don’t forget to smile. Even if you have personal and professional problems, make sure that you don’t show these to your patients. A smile puts them at ease. Don’t forget to say hello and be genuinely friendly to the kid. This also puts the parents at ease. Seeing that you are making an effort to be friendly to their kid will show parents that they have made the right choice in picking you as their kid’s dentist.
Talk During the Procedure
Think of a story that the kid will enjoy while you work on their teeth and gums. Tell this story while you’re doing the procedure. Just make sure that you can do two things at once. Otherwise, just use a comforting tone of voice to make the kid relax. But if you can tell a nice story during the procedure, that will take the kid’s discomfort away. You can engage them in a conversation. They can nod their head to communicate or make gargling sounds.
Even adults are fearful of dentists. This isn’t anything personal. People are afraid to go to doctors and dentists because of what they might hear during a consultation. Whether it be the finances that they are worried about or the fact that they have to undergo a procedure, dental anxiety is as real as it gets, and dentists should never downplay it.