Removing Dental Anxiety and Phobia at an Early Age

I am alarmed at the number of patients who do not go to the dentist not because of financial reasons but because of extreme nervousness and anxiety. As per the latest research, pain tolerance has gone down. We see an increasing number of patients not ready to bear an injection and opting for a more severe form of sedation even for small procedures such as fillings. Dental anxiety is often related to certain triggers like drills, needles or the dental setting generally. Here are some ways that can help your kids get rid of dental anxiety.

Get Your Kids with You on Your Dental Visit

Getting kids with you on your dental visit, teaches them how important going to the dentist is. It inculcates a habit-forming discipline in them that they will maintain their entire life. Talking to a dentist will always be beneficial to them and I am sure they will develop good oral hygiene habits from an early age.

Kids are always welcome at our dental office. And if you request our staff, we will give them a quick tour of our dental facility and show them our machines. They will love that experience and at the same time, Dr. Pall can do a quick visual inspection. Dr. Pall is very friendly with kids and although we are not a pediatric dental office, kids love coming back to us.

Dental Anxiety and Phobia can be Caused by:

  • Trust issues
  • Fear of closed spaces
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder where there is an obsession around cleanliness
  • Fear of loss of control
  • Generalised anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Other traumatic experiences, including abuse
  • Previous trauma to the head and neck
  • A traumatic dental experience or other healthcare experiences

Talking About the Procedures

I encourage adults to talk to kids about the procedures that they are undergoing and how the dentist is helping them. In fact, if you talk about your condition and what the dentist is doing to help you, it creates interest and alleviates the fear in them. They look at it as a science and get fascinated.

As a child I loved seeing my grandma taking care of her denture. I was so enthusiastic about it that I waited for her to finish dinner and remove her denture and clean it. I was so thrilled to see how the teeth would come off so easily. My grandma then would tell me the story of how her dentist made her the denture.

Regular Visits

We come across a lot of patients in their early twenties, who have never visited a dentist in their life. They never thought about going to the dentist until it started to hurt. There is no one to be blamed here and I think it is just a part of the culture where they grew up. The primary reason for me to write this blog is to help parents make their kids aware of good oral hygiene habits and an awareness that going to the dentist every few months is perfectly normal and absolutely required.

Conclusion

I consider that fostering good habits in our next generation is a gift to them from us. It does not take much effort talking to a child about a dental visit or taking them along on your dental visit and letting them talk to the dentist and have their questions answered. This will help get rid of their dental anxiety and phobia and you never know they may want to become a dentist when they grow up.