In an ideal situation, a child will glide through every dental appointment without any cavities, anxiety, or fear. Unfortunately, this isn’t what happens for every family. Regardless of if the child is shy or if they have very specific anxieties related to going to the dentist, they may feel afraid and unwilling to go. Parents can take steps to help ease these fears, but first, they need to know some of the common reasons that children are afraid to go in the first place.
1. Fear of the Unknown
When it comes to Family Dental care, many children are scared or anxious about an upcoming appointment due to a fear of the unknown. The fact is, things that children don’t know about or that they have never experienced first-hand are scary and cause anxiety. As a result, it’s a good idea to talk to a child about what to expect when going to the dentist.
It’s even a good idea to visit the office before the actual appointment. Take some time to let the child look around, and in some cases, the staff will even let them see the exam room. This can help to ease some of the fear and anxiety they have about their upcoming appointment.
2. Stories About Dental Appointments
Another reason a child may be nervous, anxious, or scared about an upcoming dental appointment is if their friends, family members, or even someone on TV has shared a story about a bad experience. This is much more common than many parents realize and can significantly impact how a child feels about the dentist they are going to visit.
This is why talking to a child about the appointment (as mentioned above) is such a good idea. By doing this, the child will know what to expect and have reassurance from someone they trust that there is nothing to worry about.
3. A Situation Where They Have No Control
Children are small and vulnerable. There are few things they have control of in their lives and the dentist is one more thing. This can cause them to feel especially fearful about what is going to go on and the fact that they can’t stop it.
As a parent, it’s a good idea to let the child know that they can tell the dentist what they are scared of and ask questions during the visit. Also, let them know that if anything seems uncomfortable or scary, they can stop the appointment to learn more about it or calm down. By doing this, the child is going to have a sense of control that is going to help reduce their fears about the upcoming appointment they have to help maintain their oral care.
4. Dental Care Tips and Tricks for Kids
When it comes to a child’s dental and oral health, it’s a good idea to take the time to ensure they understand the process and what to expect during an appointment. The tips and tricks here are going to help ensure that a child isn’t scared and that they don’t have anxiety about the upcoming appointment they have. It’s also a good idea to start taking a child to the dentist at an early age, as this is going to help them become comfortable with the process that they will go through each time.