Are you anxious about going to the dentist? You’d be surprised, but this same anxiety can be transferred to your children. And it’s not just the words that you use when you talk about the dentist. It is also your body language and facial expressions. Children are extremely perceptive and will pick up on this. Here are some examples of how this might happen.
“Don’t worry, Sally, it’s just a little needle. It’s not going to hurt.”
We might say this thinking that it will calm our children; nevertheless, the key words that will stand out in their minds are “needle” and “hurt”. This can draw attention to the negative aspects of the dental visit and create unnecessary anxiety.
Grabbing your child’s hand immediately before the injection.
Holding a child’s hand through a stressful procedure can definitely help. However, if the child is sitting well and showing no signs of angst, embracing his or her hand right before the injection will sometimes give the child a reason to be anxious. It is a non-verbal cue that something uncomfortable is going to happen. I am often surprised by the number of children who will take an injection and not even realize that they got one.
It is our goal to provide children with a positive experience at the dentist always. We encourage parents to be mindful of their own anxiety about the dentist, and to remain as neutral as possible heading into an upcoming appointment. Dr. Perusini and the team at Avenue PD are more than happy to discuss strategies to accomplish this task.