Both children and adults alike experience Dentophobia—fear of going to the dentist. Like many phobias, the feelings are very real and anxiety producing. Many adults have suffered with a lifetime of poor oral health because this fear was not dealt with at a young age, and as a result have compromised overall health. The causes of this fear can range from fear of pain, to loss of control—but many adults claim that it was due to bad experiences they had at the dentist, particularly at a young age. Today, with Pediatric Dentistry elected as a specialty area, widely taught in most highly acclaimed dental schools, the trained Pediatric Dentist is well equipped to deal with young Dentophobia.
Park View's Point of View
At Park View Pediatric Dentistry, we believe in doing all that we can to make going to the dentist an enjoyable experience right from the start. From our brightly colored subway-themed office to goody bags, iPads and waiting room activities— we make checkups and oral health education something children feel good about. We pride ourselves on our all women staff, which especially for our youngest patients connotes a feeling of a nurturing mom. We also never want the child to feel like they are facing their dental visits alone, and provide special in-room seating for attending family or guardians. Naturally, we do still experience children that are initially afraid of the dental visit and have many helpful suggestions for parents.
Here is how parents can help make children’s dental visits less scary:
— First and foremost, choose a dentist that is specifically a Pediatric Dentist. Not only are they trained to deal with children from infancy through college, but in most cases their offices are more child-friendly and inviting. Don’t hesitate to make an initial consultation visit before selecting your Pediatric Dentist.
— If you yourself have a fear of going to the dentist or have had unpleasant dental experiences in the past, it is very important not to share these, even if things turned out fine and you were going to use your own fear as an example.
— Tell your child about the dental visit in very positive terms. If you have visited the office beforehand, report all of your positive findings like waiting room activities, friendly dentists, goody bags, reward stickers, etc.
— It is a great idea to read very young children books about going to the dentist. There are some wonderfully written and illustrated ones available today. See last month’s blog story for some great suggestions.
— In cases where children are extremely afraid, you may want to set a preliminary visit where they just meet the dentists and take a tour of the office. This way the actual visit will not feel like the fear of the unknown.
— In severe cases where a child’s anxiety cannot be overcome, or for children with special needs or complex cases, we recommend sedation dentistry, which is a specialty of Park View Pediatric Dentistry. Please see this section on our website for more details.
— Look in the mirror together and SMILE and describe the importance of having a beautiful one for the rest of your life. Explain how in addition to brushing and flossing, the dentist is the one to help make that happen by keeping teeth healthy and beautiful.
Here’s to positive and stress-free dental visits!
You can contact us at:
Park View Pediatric Dentistry