If your child is overly anxious about going to the dentist or if they need to undergo a more complex or lengthier procedure, Dr. Krishna Zala may recommend dental sedation to help them relax and have a more positive experience.
You as a parent will also play a crucial role in easing their anxiety. Here are a few tips that you can use to prepare your child for dental sedation.
It's normal for your child to feel anxious about going to the dentist, especially since everything is so new to them. Use simple language to explain why the procedure is necessary and what will happen. You can say something like, "The dentist will need to clean your teeth so that they grow healthy and strong. He will help you sleep so the time passes faster while he fixes your teeth."
Let your child know that you'll be there with them and they have nothing to worry about. Don't use words like "pain," but also don't undermine the entire procedure. Tell them that it's normal to feel scared, but they are safe.
Kids learn and process their emotions best by playing. For example, you can pretend that you are the dentist and the child can be the patient. This way they can understand better what to expect and that could help alleviate some fears your child might have. You can then reverse the roles and they can pretend to be the dentist. This can help them feel like they are in control.
If your child needs IV sedation or general anesthesia, they will need to fast for at least 8 hours before the procedures. It can be difficult for your child to not eat or drink water for so many hours. If possible, schedule the appointment in the early morning hours so they can fast throughout the night. If that's not possible, fast with them. This will show them that it's all part of the process and they are not being punished.
If possible, take your child to visit the dentist's office before the day of the procedure. This can help familiarize your child with the environment and staff.
If your child has a favorite toy, blanket, or other item that provides comfort, bring it along on the day of the procedure.
Make sure your child understands they might feel a little groggy, nauseous, or disoriented after the procedure. Have a comfortable and relaxing recovery area set up at home, with soft, comfort foods ready if allowed by the dentist. Pamper your child after the treatment to help them recover faster.
If your child is afraid of the dentist or if they are special needs and require dental sedation to receive treatment, Little Smiles of Eastvale is here to offer specialized and compassionate dental care.
Get in touch with us to book your little one's appointment.