Do Your Children Have Dental Anxiety?

Do Your Children Have Dental Anxiety?

Jan 01, 2022

Approximately 30% of the Canadian population is affected by dental anxiety, preventing them from visiting dentists or seeking routine treatments. Children fear visiting dental offices because they don’t know what to expect. Some fears stem from being separated from their parents and looking at a dressed-up and masked dentist staring at them when they open their mouths. One pretty common and challenging fear some parents experience is when their child seems terrified of visiting the dentist. Regency Dental Center states nearly 20% of school-age children are scared of dental visits making the issue challenging for parents and dentists trying to help the child.

Dental anxiety in children is detrimental to their oral health because it prevents them from receiving essential dental care. Is there any technique to help children overcome their anxiety? Here are some suggestions that may help.

How Can Parents and Dentists Help Children Overcome Dental Anxiety?

Children’s dentistry in Etobicoke, ON, recommends parents communicate and work with them to ensure a dental visit for their child proceeds smoothly. Parents and dentists have a vital role in soothing and transitioning the child into their dental procedures.

The Parents Role

The parent is responsible for preparing the child for the dental visit. Children favor predictability in life when adjusting and transitioning into unfamiliar situations. Waiting for the final moment before telling the child about their dental visit can worsen their anxiety. Instead, the children’s dental center recommends parents discuss the visit with the children and allow them to express their fears before the dental visit.

When visiting kid’s dental, parents must answer any questions the child raises with simple answers. Informing the dentist of the discussion with the child also helps because it enables them to realize your child’s dental anxiety ahead of time and prepare for the visit.

The role of parents in helping the child overcome dental anxiety doesn’t end by driving them down to the dentist’s office. When they arrive for the appointment, they must follow any instructions provided by the dentist. Having your child’s favorite toy is helpful and a calming distraction during the visit. Parents must allow children to play around in the waiting room to adjust to the new environment.

The Role of the Dentist

Dentists manage children gently and calmly during dental visits for children, talking to them in a friendly and regulated manner. They use specific words when explaining procedures.

Children’s dentists engage the child in conversation because engagement is helpful to help your child overcome dental anxiety. Dentists use it by telling stories unrelated to the procedure involved. The conversation helps the child feel comfortable around the dentist.

Positive Reinforcement

Children’s dentists use positive reinforcement, complimenting and praising children for good behavior during dental visits. In addition, they also provide children with rewards for good behavior and cooperation during the dental visit.

What Happens If All Techniques Fail?

Some children are stubborn and do not respond to verbal encouragement. Thankfully children’s dentists have discovered a way around this problem to treat children by giving them conscious sedation. A straightforward technique like laughing gas helps keep your child calm during dental procedures. In addition, conscious sedation helps keep adult and pediatric patients calm because it is an antianxiety medication.

If your child is uncooperative, the dentist may recommend you give them oral medication before driving them down for their dental appointment. The oral medicines allow your child to remain relaxed during their visit. The child remains responsive to stimuli, either physical or verbal. They can also breathe normally without requiring medical assistance. The child will likely have no recollection of the visit or the procedure and will function normally the following day.

Even when provided with oral sedation, children receive pain management medications in the form of local anesthesia in their mouths. However, oral sedation ensures they don’t feel the injection in their mouths.

Dental anxiety affects everyone, including children. If dental anxiety also affects your child, the Etobicoke dentist can help them overcome it.