Dental Anxiety in Children
We all want our kids to enjoy great dental health. This means making good dental hygiene habits at home a priority. It also means maintaining a healthy attitude toward routine cleanings and checkups. These things, if practiced from an early age, can become good habits that last well into adulthood, and follow your children throughout their lives. But if you have dental anxiety, you could be setting your child up for the same, without even realizing it.
A recent study by the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid, Spain, revealed something you might not have suspected about dental anxiety in children. While it may be easy to understand that parents who have dental anxiety can pass that on to their children, researchers discovered that children, at least in the Autonomous Community of Madrid, take their cues about the safety of dental visits from their fathers. The study also found that an elevated level of dental fear in one family member tends to elevate it for the rest of the family, too. In other words, we all affect each other in this.
How Can You Avoid Making Your Child Afraid of the Dentist?
If you have dental anxiety that you feel might be passed on to your children, there are ways to deal with it. it can be difficult to avoid showing signs of fear, so you need to deal with your dental anxiety. Some things that can help:
- Talk with your dentist about your concerns. This will help her to help you manage your fears.
- Remember that bad experiences in the past are not an indication of your current situation
- Ask your dentist to explain the procedures you are having done in detail. Or, if you feel that thinking about them in detail will only make you more uncomfortable, let the dentist know that too.
- Use creative visualization to help yourself relax. Additionally, you may choose to listen to music that is calming to help divert your attention from your anxiety.
- Try visiting the office when you don’t have a procedure scheduled. Simply being in the environment when you’re not stressed by dental work can help.
- Maintain regular visits and good oral hygiene at home, to help avoid problems that require a lot of work.
- Talk with your dentist about arranging a signal to stop if you get overwhelmed during a procedure.
- Take the time to develop a sense of your dentist’s personality, to help you learn to trust that you won’t be hurt in the chair.
Actual dental phobia is a condition that is best treated by a mental health care professional.
If you want to set your child on the right path toward dental health, call New Hampshire Family Dentistry in Manchester, NH at (603) 625-1877 for an appointment today. Let us allay your fears! We want your whole family to enjoy healthy lifelong smiles. Drs. Sparks and Mandera look forward to seeing you.
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