Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores
26210 Harper Avenue, Suite 100, St. Clair Shores, MI 48081

How Parents’ Dental Phobia Affects Children

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Dental fear is a common problem among children, but according to a new study by Delta Dental, it doesn’t just develop spontaneously. The nationwide survey, which was released in conjunction with National Anxiety Month in April, found that about half of the parents polled experienced anxiety before dental appointments, and an equal number of children suffered the same fear. According to Dr. Bill Kohn, DDS, children can easily pick up on their parents’ dental fear. It’s essential to stay relaxed and calm during children’s dental appointments so that kids feel at ease and don’t experience fear of dentist anxiety.

Ease Dental Fear

Professional dental care is essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, but many children are terrified of getting it. According to parents participating in the Delta Dental survey, fear of pain is the most common reason for anxiety. Lesser concerns include long visit times and the possibility of needing further treatment. Some kids are worried they won’t like the dentist. Fear of dentist equipment such as drills and suction devices probably makes things even worse. If children associate dentistry with negative feelings, it could cause them to avoid dental care throughout life. The following tips can help to ease dental fear:

  • Tell the dentist about your child’s dental fear before the visit.
  • Practice at home before the appointment by playing dentist and counting your child’s teeth.
  • Make your child’s first dentist appointment no later than his or her first birthday.
  • Focus on positive aspects of dental care. Avoid negative talk and ever use words when talking about the dentist that will frighten your child.

Manage Dental Phobia

Managing your own dental phobia can help you avoid passing dental fear down to your kids. There are several ways to fear of dentist anxiety. To avoid feeling anxious all day, schedule appointments first thing in the morning. Have a friend or loved one join you for the visit. Make sure your dentist knows you have dental fear so he or she can help you relax. Agree on a hand signal or other sign that lets your dentist know you are feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable during treatment. If your dental fear is severe enough to keep you from getting the care you need, ask your dentist about sedation dentistry, or seek help from a mental health professional.

To learn about our family dentistry practice in St. Clair Shores, call Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores today at (248) 850-1809 or make an appointment.

Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in St. Clair Shores. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Michigan, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
The office staff was extremely friendly. My daughter was in a lot of discomfort and going to the dentist makes her very nervous. She left the office feeling very comfortable with the dentist. She was […]
Tessa T.
Such an amazing staff all around. Kathy, Dr. Ascano and Dr. Duan are all so knowledgeable and kind. They made me feel so comfortable even though I was a pain to them and have a crazy fear of the […]
Allissa B.
The staff are great. Very thorough with what i had going on. Definitely would recommend Gentle Dental to anyone that needs a good dentist. THANK YOU!!
Adam E.
I love that I am seen at my appointment time and I love that everyone is do nice!
Latoya T.
I have always hated going to the dentist and yet I am now able to tolerate the visits because of Dr. Ascano and his staff.
Jennifer T.
Dr. Ascano and his entire staff are always so nice that I feel like I’m visiting with friends! They do a wonderful job and are very patient with my daughter. I highly recommend Gentle Dental on […]
Brad B.
The staff is for the most part courteous and friendly.
Sarah T.
Very gentle and thoroughly explained all the things going on with my teeth. Itemized all costs and explained why I needed certain services. Created a game plan with me instead of dictated a plan. […]
Angel H.
I’ve only been going to gentledental/Dr. Ascano for a bit over a year. Not only is he and all the staff very kind (my previous dentist was kind), but he is thoughtful and instills confidence in his […]
Dawn A.
Everyone was helpful and friendly. Very accommodating!
Dianne P.
They are so awesome! Very gentle and they made the experience very comfortable!
Ciara B.
I always have the best dental experience here! They are the nicest and most friendly staff. I always walk out of Gentle Dental in St. Clair Shores with a smile on my face. :)
Lydia K.
Everyone was friendly and nice!
Sean E.
Very close to my home (so I’m referring my daughter there), plus my teeth feel very clean after a cleaning & they gave good advice on using a water pick since I hate using floss.
Shari H.
I love Them!!! They are family oriented, respectful, flexible and do a great job!!!!
Jacquelyn S.
You guys are awesome!
Jamie N.
Staff was amazing in every way
Logan S.
My daughter is apprehensive about the dentist but this place is awesome with her every time. Doctor is very friendly as is all the staff. Hygienists as well as office staff
Amber O.
The Professionalism and the attentiveness of the team.
Stephanie H.
It took me over 20years to get to the dentist. If I would have known Dr. Ascano was out there I would have gone sooner. From the very first visit he took all my fears away and made me feel […]
Sandra M.
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