Tips for Parents on Overcoming Dental Anxiety in Children

Tips for Parents on Overcoming Dental Anxiety in Children

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Like some adults, most children are afraid of the dentist, so their parents find it challenging to bring them to the dentist. While some kids will eventually learn to let go of their fear, others develop dental anxiety.

Dental anxiety is defined as the anxiety towards and fear of visiting a dental clinic or the dentist. Pediatric dentists consider it one of their biggest dilemmas, and it is now recognized as a public health concern. In some cases, the fear escalates and becomes irrational; it turns into a phobia.

When a child has dental phobia, even the mere mention of the word dentist may cause reactions that are similar to panic symptoms, such as sweating, shaking or trembling, cardiac sensations, and fainting or dizziness. However, these symptoms usually vary according to what dental procedure a child is scheduled to have. Dental anxiety and phobia are real but present hindrances to proper and efficient dental care.

According to an investigation back in 1995, some of the reasons for children’s dental anxiety and phobia are past negative dental treatment experiences and fear passed on from an elder, such as a parent, guardian, or sibling.

However, there are things that you can do as a parent to help ease the fear and anxiety. It’s not going to be easy, but it can be done. To guide you as you start, here is an infographic that details some simple tips that you can use as a guide to help your kids overcome dental anxiety.

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Dr. Megan Peterson Boyle is the lead cosmetic dentist with Dental Studio 101 in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is focused on providing anxiety-free cosmetic dentistry services including invisalign, dental implants, dental crowns and cosmetic fillings. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her friends and family.