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My Child Is Afraid of the Dentist: How Can I Help?

My Child Is Afraid of the Dentist: How Can I Help?

Routine dental exams and cleanings are critical to enjoying your best health. Though few people actually look forward to going to the dentist, dental anxiety can make those dentist appointments feel downright impossible.

Dental anxiety causes fear and worry at the thought of going to the dentist. It affects about 36% of Americans, and it can be so intense that it keeps you from getting the dental care you need. Unfortunately, this anxiety can develop at any age, and children can suffer from it too.

If your child is afraid of the dentist, it can be difficult to make sure their teeth are healthy as they grow up. Kohei Morita, DDS, and our team at Morita Dental can help. We believe that a lifetime of oral health starts in childhood — and we work with you and your child to help them overcome their fears.

Partner with a pediatric dentist

Dr. Morita offers pediatric dentistry services, which means he and our team have special training to work with children. Your child’s mouth goes through significant changes throughout infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and our pediatric team is equipped to provide care at each stage.

We offer routine services, like cleanings, fluoride treatments, and sealants, but pediatric dental care goes beyond treatments. We spend extra time teaching you and your child about the importance of oral health care to help set them up for better oral health throughout their whole life.

At each appointment, we work hard to create a fun environment. Our friendly team is dedicated to reducing your child’s nervousness and making the experience something that they happily anticipate. 

Discuss ways to manage dental anxiety

If intense anxiety is keeping your child from the dentist, talk to Dr. Morita and our team about your options. Many children feel more comfortable once they’re in our office and they’ve met our team, but we may recommend light sedation in some cases.

Nitrous oxide is a mild, safe sedation option for most children. Your child breathes in the gas through a small nosepiece, and it helps reduce their anxiety and discomfort in the dental chair. They remain awake and alert, but feel more relaxed and even giggly.

Establish oral health care habits at home

Along with creating a positive experience in the dentist’s office, we recommend making oral health care a routine at home.

Start brushing your child’s teeth at a young age. Teach your child how to brush and floss once they’re old enough, and make sure they clean their teeth properly every day.

As your child grows older, consider reading books about going to the dentist and talking about why it’s important to take care of their teeth. Let them see you brush and floss your own teeth and take them with you to your dentist appointments, so they can see there’s no reason to be afraid.

You don’t have to feel helpless if your child is afraid of the dentist. Our pediatric dental team at Morita Dental is here to offer support and help your child get the dental care they need. Give our Cupertino, California, office a call at 408-775-7770, or request an appointment online to get started.

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