Going to the dentist isn’t always something people look forward to – especially if you have a sensitive gag reflex. Kids have enough anxiety about the dentist as it is, but they usually are able to get over it after the first couple visits because they know what to expect. If they have a sensitive gag reflex, this anxiety can persist.
Luckily, our pediatric dentistry team, led by Dr. Scott, is more than prepared to handle any issues like this. We know how to help make kids more comfortable and help get their gag reflex under control. This is what we’ll be covering today in our pediatric dentistry blog.
What's the first thing to do to stop the gag reflex?
The first tip our pediatric dentistry has is the easiest and most basic one. All you need to do is breathe properly. By having the child breathe through their nose, and focus on doing that, it can help to greatly reduce the sensitivity of their gag reflex. In addition to reducing the sensitivity, the simple act of focusing on their breathing will help to keep their mind off the procedure at hand. Plus, breathing at a measured rate helps to reduce their anxiety, which also plays into the reason the gag reflex goes off. Oftentimes the gag reflex reaction is psychological instead of physical.
You can teach your child how to breathe through their nose at home so they have practice when they come to our pediatric dentistry clinic. Practicing at home will also help prepare them for what to expect and further reduce anxiety.
How can numbing or sedation help with my child's gag reflex?
Of course, if all else fails, we always have the option of numbing the area, which will deaden the sensitivity of the gag reflex during the procedure. This can be done with a topical or local anesthetic. Having the area numbed also should help to put the child at ease and relax them. If their gag reflex is hypersensitive and can’t be controlled through the typical tactics, our pediatric dentistry clinic also has safe sedation options. Not only will the sedation solve the gag reflex and their anxiety, it can help the pediatric dentist finish the procedure faster.
Related Post: Sedation Dentistry Explained: Methods
Who can help my child with a gag reflex at the dentist?
Dr. Stuart Scott is the best pediatric dentist around, and he’ll be sure to make sure your child is comfortable and able to be positive about their trips to the dentist. Our state of the art pediatric dentistry clinic, combined with Dr. Scott’s extensive experience, has everything needed to give your child the best dental care possible. For more information, or to set up an appointment with Dr. Scott, please contact Parkcrest Dental today.