“But mom, dentists are so scary..”
Is your child giving you a hard time while going to the dentist? Are you all too familiar with their tantrums before dentist appointments? Does he tell you all sorts of scary stories about dentists?
Dental anxiety is quite common among children. In fact, 74.1% of children experience some sort of dental anxiety.
Dealing with your child’s anxiety can be tough, but it’s essential to lay a foundation of good dental habits.
Luckily enough, you can easily relieve your child’s dental anxiety without any sedation or medication.
Before we tell you how to ease your child’s fear, it’s important that you understand the root cause behind it.
Getting to the Root of Dental Anxiety
Simply put, dental anxiety is the fear associated with dental care. However, there are people who don’t like going to the dentist and those who’re afraid of it. Dental anxiety falls into the latter category.
The fact that the human brain is capable of imagining scenarios is the root cause behind your kid’s dental anxiety. Maybe your child has a friend who recently had his teeth filled and he told him how the dentist drilled his teeth and filled them up. This story is probably engraved in your kid’s brain! No matter how many times you tell him that’s it’s a routine checkup, he won’t believe you!
Children show signs of dental anxiety in the form of crying, tantrums, and acting out. Many kids also suffer from sleep disturbances and exhaustion as a response to dental anxiety.
In order to combat the issue, you need to understand the fears that trigger his anxiety:
Perhaps the biggest hurdle standing between your child and their dentist appointment is the pain. There are some dentists that your kid refers to as ‘bad’ or ‘makes me hurt’. If that’s the case, your dentist isn’t ensuring a pain-free experience for your child. It’s important that you deal with this issue at earlier stages. Once their fear takes over, it will most often turn into a lifelong habit of canceled appointments and poor dental hygiene habits.
Talk to your kid’s dentist before the appointment about how he plans to manage the pain. Don’t wait till the last minute to tell your kid about his visit. It’ll only add to their paranoia. Coax them into talking about what makes scares them and try easing it up.
Your kid knows that the man with the big pointy needle has the charge here. He knows that even if he does feel pain, he won’t be able to do anything about it.
Diverting your kid’s mind is one way to ease their fear. Give him the TV remote telling him he’s in charge of what everyone watches. Tell him to raise his hand if he feels pain and you’ll immediately stop the dentist. Holding onto their favorite toys also relieves your child’s anxiety; so remember to take it with you the next time you go for a dental visit.
Dealing with your kid’s anxiety lays the foundation to healthy dental habits. At Bethesda Dental Health, we offer special services to help your kid overcome his fear. Our extensive services include dental implants, dental veneers, root canal, and other dental requirements.
Book an appointment today and let your kid have a carefree dental experience!