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How to Help Pediatric Dentistry Anxiety


Tim Loughran Dentistry, located in Herrin, Illinois, is a dental practice that is here to serve patients of all ages. We’ve been providing Southern Illinois family dentistry since the 1980s. While we are here to serve the entire family, we recognize that some age groups experience more dental anxiety than others. 


Many children are scared or apprehensive about visiting the dentist. Some dentistry anxiety cases may be mild, but others are more extreme and need attention. So, how can we help ease the fears of a child who is scared of going to the dentist? 


Managing Your Child’s Dentistry Anxiety

There are quite a few simple tips that can help calm a child’s fears about the dentist. Here are six tips to help manage and keep anxiety at bay when it is time for your child’s next dental visit.


Tip #1- Early Visits

Take your child to the dentist starting at a young age! In fact, it is recommended that the child’s first dental visit should occur no later than their first birthday or even as early as their first tooth appearing. This helps to get the child familiar with the dentist from an early age and helps them to be more comfortable. 


Tip #2- Storybooks

Dental storybooks are a great way to help calm dental fears. These books feature relatable characters, colorful illustrations, and simple language, as well as showcase a positive dental experience for the characters in the book. Here are some of our favorite dental storybooks: 

  • The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan & Jan Berenstain
  • Curious George Visits the Dentist by H. A. Rey
  • Just Going to the Dentist by Mercer Mayer


Tip #3- Play Dentist

Play dentist at home with your child. Let your child pretend to be the dentist and “clean” your teeth. Then, switch roles and have your child pretend to be the patient. This is great practice for them as they near a dental visit. 


Tip #4- Answer their Questions

Communication is key for a child who struggles with dental anxiety! Don’t tell them about their dentist appointment last minute because that can make their anxiety worse. Instead, give them a heads up and give them plenty of time to mentally prepare. In addition, answer the questions they have in a simple manner. 


Tip #5- Lead by Example

Set a good example of oral hygiene for your child. Show them good brushing and flossing habits, and remind them that dentists are just doctors that take care of their teeth. Most importantly, keep in mind that a lot of dental anxiety is learned and developed from parents, so practicing good dental habits and regularly visiting the dentist is key.


Tip #6- Choose a Family Dentistry

Last but not least, choose a family dentist! Family dentists have experience with anxious children and have ways to alleviate the anxiety. Tim Loughran Dentistry here in Herrin is a Southern Illinois family dentistry that takes careful measures to make visits as simple and easy as possible for young children.


Choose Tim Loughran Dentistry

So, if you are looking for a Southern Illinois family dentistry for you and your family, contact Tim Loughran Dentistry today! Our team would be more than happy to help you make an appointment and answer your questions.

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