In order to comprehend what dental anxiety is, it is very important to understand the meaning of anxiety in general. Anxiety is a normal physiological and psychological response to a stimulus or a given situation generally inducing a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease about a certain situation. Everyone experiences anxiety and so will the kids while visiting a dentist. It is absolutely natural. It is an alarm system that protects you while you face a real or perceived threat
Similarly, dental anxiety is almost like stage fear your kids may get it whenever they need to see a dentist. Many kids suffer from dental anxiety to such an extent that they will do anything to avoid going to a dentist. It is very important to overcome dental anxiety especially among kids so that they come out openly with their dental problems before their parents and their dentist this will surely help in avoiding a dental problem becoming a chronic issue.
Why are kids scared of the dentist?
Dental anxiety is a common problem and is prevalent among a majority of the human beings irrespective of age, sex or ethnicity. About 20% of the adults won’t go to the dentist unless absolutely necessary and 7% fears a dental visit to such a degree, that they won’t go in at all.
Kids tend to be more prone to suffer from dental anxiety especially the ones whose parents themselves are scared of going to a dentist. A study by Delta Dental Plans suggests that adults who are scared to go to a dentist their kids share their fears and are highly prone to suffer from dental anxiety.
There are many other reasons of dental anxiety among kids. One of the most common reasons of dental anxiety is fear and embarrassment. A number of kids develop anxiety because of experiences of pain, gagging, or other negative responses in their previous dental visits. Some may handle a lot of pain but may get anxious just because someone (or maybe they just heard their parents talking about the fear they have regarding dental procedures) told them that all dental procedures are painful.
Some have the fear of needles and big dental tools. The mere thought of dental procedures and the tools used to investigate the oral cavity and the teeth is a put down for many individuals. There are many who get anxious at the thought of the dentist asking them to open their mouth while lying in the dentist’s chair. Here the kid is not in control and does not have the ability to talk or respond. Apart from that the oral cavity is a sensitive area in the human body and a slight variation in the temperature of liquids when entering the oral cavity causes a lot of discomfort thus having a dentist carry out procedures that you really don’t have an idea about can cause you to fret while lying in the chair.
The mere thought of not being in control and not being able to talk takes the anxiety levels to a new high among kids which takes the form of dental anxiety in the patient. The mere thought that a person unknown to you is going to be looking directly into your mouth and is going to carry out procedures best known to him elevates the problem.
Regularly visit a dentist for routine Check up to beat dental anxiety among kids
The reasons of being scared of a dentist or dental checkup are quite unfounded. Dwelling a dental anxiety could magnify a potentially minor problem into a major dental problem or chronic disease especially among kids. So it is better to visit a dentist for routine checkup which will help your kids in getting comfortable with your dentist. It is one of the best measures you can employ to protect your teeth from decay, cavities and other dental problems. Regular visits to your dentist in a span of six months and having your oral cavity checked up is one of the best things you can do to beat dental anxiety and have a healthy oral cavity with strong teeth.
Help your kids establish a trust with your dentist. It is very important to build a comfort level and trust between the kids and the dentist since it will open up your kid’s inhibitions and he will be able to talk about his fear and overall dental experiences. With time your kid will be able to get rid of dental anxiety and fear, when you will be able to establish a trust relationship between him and the dentist.
Find a dentist who will be able to deal with the dental anxiety of your kids
Getting a dentist who can assess the problem and has pain handling capabilities is the best option to beat anxiety for your kids. There are quite a few dentists who will believe that pain is handled equally by all which of course is not the case. Thus a dentist who talks to the kids before actually starting with anything would be a good choice.
Generally a good dentist will go out of the way to keep his patients calm and composed all through the process by asking them how they are feeling or even giving them an overview of the procedure he is going to perform. I have seen dentists who would show all the instruments before hand to the kids and even handle his instruments just to make the kid comfortable.
Deep Breathing and psychological methods to keep you calm
If your kid is not able to control anxiety asks him to practice deep breathing. This will help the kid to beat a major stress out of him and he will be more calm and composed in the dentist’s chair while undergoing the procedure. Research has proven that when you undertake deep breathing the brain receives more oxygenated blood which releases endrophins and in turn reduces stress. Endrophins not only help in releasing stress but also reduce pain.
Sedation is an option to beat dental anxiety
Still if your kid is not able to come to terms that he needs to have a treatment from a dentist and you are anxious of how your kid is going to take the procedure; talk to your dentist about sedation. Anesthesia depending on your kid’s condition and need will be administered to him by the dentist to make the process less painful and comfortable. This is the time of painless tooth treatment and every dentist will ensure that at least the area is sedated where the procedure needs to be conducted.
Dentists frequently make use of Nitrous Oxide also known as laughing gas generally administered via a mask and the effects cease to exist after the mask has been removed. Apart from that oral sedation in the form of tablets may be administered to make the patient comfortable and composed throughout the process. Sedations techniques are sometimes supplemented with other calming aids such as music or TV.
Make aware your kid about the painless treatments available at dental offices. It’s only that a sense of anxiety has taken a deep rooted place inside our minds which tells us that dental appointments are painful.
Author Bio- Walter has been writer for Prodental Clinic London and he has been writing about various topics like healthcare and dental health. Walter is a consistent writer for Prodental Clinic London from the past couple of years. Prodental Clinic London is a Cosmetic dental clinic which provides dental services in London. They provide dental solutions like Dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, All-on-4 implants and Damon braces.