How Parents’ Dental Phobia Affects Children
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.