Conquering Dental Anxiety in Tots, Toddlers, and Teens
Does your child run and hide or start to cry at the mere suggestion of a dental exam? A fear of the dentist is common in children of all ages, and it causes headaches for parents and professionals. Pediatric dentists deal with it every day. Getting regular professional dental care is essential for maintaining good oral health throughout childhood, so skipping dental appointments is not the answer. Fortunately, there are many ways you can help ease your child’s fear of the dentist. Listed below are helpful suggestions for various age groups.
Ways to Manage Dental Anxiety
Find a dentist who specializes in treating children who suffer from dental anxiety. Many pediatric dentists have kid-friendly waiting rooms with bright decor and a number of toys, games, and other distractions to make visits more enjoyable. After a successful dental exam, be sure to praise and reward your child for good behavior.
Dental Phobia in Tots and Toddlers
Make a dental appointment for your baby by his or her first birthday. Maintain a calm and soothing demeanor, and only discuss dental topics in positive terms. Your child can easily pick up on your dental anxiety or worry. A favorite toy or blanket can help distract your child, or provide comfort during dental visits.
Dental Anxiety in Teens
Teens may be embarrassed to admit they have a fear of the dentist, so try to be understanding. Encourage your teen to ask questions, and share concerns about an upcoming dental treatment or exam. Understanding what is going to happen during treatment can help decrease dental anxiety. Ask the dentist to explain procedures in detail, so your teen will know what to expect. You can also introduce your teen to meditation, biofeedback, or guided relaxation programs to help ease dental phobia.
Avoid Sharing Your Fear of the Dentist with Your Kids
According to a study released by Delta Dental in conjunction with National Anxiety Month in April, parental dental phobia can be passed along to children. The nationwide poll revealed that the percentage of parents affected by dental anxiety matched the percentage of children reporting the same fear of the dentist. To avoid sharing your fearful view of dentistry with your children, it’s important to manage your own dental anxiety. A variety of techniques can make your treatment experience easier, including meditation, guided relaxation, using headphones, and the presence of a good friend. However you choose to battle your fear of the dentist, don’t share negative experiences or dental anxiety with your children.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Downtown Detroit, call Gentle Dental at Jefferson Avenue today at (313) 879-4769 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Downtown Detroit. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Michigan, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental at Jefferson Avenue, 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 at Jefferson Avenue.