Dental fear is common, especially among children. In fact, a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) revealed that about 16% of school-age children are afraid of going to the dentist. In addition, fear of extraction is one of the common reasons of dental fear.
If your child has dental fear, you should start changing their perception on dentists and dental treatments as early as possible. This is because dental visits play an important role in their oral health. However, all efforts should not come from the parents alone. Dentists should also play their part.
Parental involvement is important for a child to overcome their fear of the dentist. Here are some things you can do to help:
- Make it simple – Parents should inform their child about the visit in the simplest way possible. Too much discussion is not helpful, as this will only raise more questions and probably increase fear. Do not give false hopes either or your child will lose trust in you.
- Choose your words – KidzSmile Dentistry and other New Albany pediatric dentists suggest replacing words that could increase fear, such as pain and shot. Let the dental assistant introduce the right terms if you are already in the dental office.
- Make them feel comfortable – A pretend visit will do the trick. You can pretend to be the dentist, using a toothbrush as a dental instrument. Instead of pinpointing problematic teeth, you can simply count their teeth or pretend that you are cleaning the teeth to remove sugar bugs.
Many dentists agree that a patient with dental fear or anxiety is one of the most difficult cases to handle. This should not be a problem, though, as family and pediatric dentists attended extra classes to make sure they can handle children with dental fear properly. They understand the needs of a patient with dental fear, so you can expect them to deliver the right form of treatment for your child.
Parents should be the first to take the step, so their child would grow without fearing dental visits. If you start early and follow this guide correctly, there would be no scary dentists for your child anymore.