Making sure your child feels comfortable at the dentist is one of the best ways to lay an early foundation of healthy dental habits.
We care about kids and their oral health, we try to make everyone comfortable when they’re in our office.
Why Is My Child Afraid of the Dentist?
Many people don’t particularly like to go to the dentist, but they’re not necessarily afraid to go. Dental anxiety, however, can become a fear.
Although you may not think much about it, one of the first causes of dental anxiety could be your child’s fear of having his airway blocked. It’s uncomfortable and not something you really get used to.
Stuffy noses can make it that much worse.
For many children, pain is also at the root of their dental anxiety, and at one time, it wasn’t completely unwarranted. Dentists used to believe that baby teeth had no nerves, so procedures were performed with only a little nitrous oxide gas, just to calm the child down.
We’re aware of this and take extra care to give a pain-free experience.
Fear of losing control is a cause of dental anxiety that is related to the fear of pain. A child knows that the big person with the pointy instruments is in charge. If there’s pain or discomfort, the child may very likely feel that he or she has no control over it. This can make him very anxious even if he’s never been to the dentist before.
Children usually know that an adult with the pointy instruments is in charge. If there’s pain or discomfort, the child may very likely feel that he or she has no control over it.
They can let us know they’re in pain by raising their hand.
Fear by Proxy
When adults suffer from dental anxiety, they may transfer that fear to a child through vicarious learning.
As parents, affirming that there is nothing to worry about going to the dentist is great. If you are at all anxious about it though, it’s more likely they will be anxious too. Kids pick up on the non verbal cues and get anxious.
Impact of Dental Anxiety in Children
If dental anxiety becomes a long-term issue, the impact can include a lifetime of avoiding needed dental procedures.
Ease Your Child’s Fear of the Dentist
- Choose the right dentist for your child
- Don’t keep upcoming visits a secret
- Teach your child how to find calm
- Set a good example
- Start early and be consistent
You can ease your child’s dental anxiety by making the activity a fun and enjoyable part of his normal life.