The Relationship Between Adult Dental Phobia and Dental Fear in Children
Professional dental care is essential for keeping kids’ teeth and gums healthy, but when a child is traumatized by dental visits, both parents and dental professionals have a struggle on their hands. Dental fear in children is a common problem faced by pediatric dentists, and a recent study conducted by Delta Dental Plans has revealed what dental experts have suspected all along: a parent’s dental phobia can play a huge role in causing a child’s dental fear. The results of the nationwide poll of parents and children were released in conjunction with National Anxiety Month in April.
Fear of Dentist: It Can Be a Learned Behavior
Observation of nervous behavior in parents, siblings, and others teaches children that dentistry is something to be feared. To avoid transferring their worry to their children, parents should take steps to resolve their own dental fear, such as discussing their concerns with their dentists or using distraction methods during treatment. If dental phobia is severe, it may be wise for them to attend dental visits without children to prevent them from picking up on the uncomfortable feelings. Most importantly, they should avoid sharing their dental fear or negative experiences with their kids.
Ease Dental Fear with a Positive Approach
Children’s dental fear is often the same as that of adults. It includes fear of pain, fear of dentist tools, and fear of long appointment times or the need for additional work. Clear signs of childhood dental phobia include missed or canceled appointments, sweating, fainting, crying, panic attacks, irritability, and physical symptoms such as nausea, headache, or dizziness. Parents can help prevent dental phobia in kids by maintaining a positive tone when talking about dental care. Practicing dental exams on stuffed toys, or teaching kids to count their teeth can make dental care seem like fun. Finally, every child should visit a dentist by the age of one. The early exposure builds a positive relationship between a child and his or her dentist before dental fear has a chance to develop.
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Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Baltimore. With 12 affiliated practices throughout Maryland, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates at Beltway, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates at Beltway.