What Causes Dental Fear In Kids & How Can It Be Prevented?

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Is your child scared of the dentist? If the answer is yes, don’t worry because you aren’t alone - studies have shown that a large percentage of children are scared of the dentist. Dental fear can be minor or major, depending on the individual child, and can have a wide range of impacts on a child’s health. From causing feelings of anxiety and stress to preventing them undergoing any dental work at all unless under anesthetic, the impact of dental fear in pediatric dentistry is vast and varied.

While dental fear is common, what a lot of parents don’t understand is where it stems from and how to prevent it effectively. With that in mind, below is a guide to the main causes of dental fear, how you can prevent it, and what steps can be taken to help reduce feelings of fear and anxiety in kids. Read on for everything that you need to know to make dental anxiety and fear a thing of the past.

What causes dental fear in kids?

The cause of dental fear in kids comes in many forms and depends on a range of factors. One of the main factors for dental fear, however, is having parents or one parent that fears the dentist. Children mimic their parent's behaviour, so if a child sees that their parent is afraid, they will mimic this. Of course, this isn’t the only cause of dental fear, other causes include:

·        Having had a previous experience that was painful
·        Fear of how ‘scary’ dental equipment looks
·        Unappealing dental setting
·        Inadequate preparation regarding what to expect from a trip to the dentist

How can dental fear be prevented?

Preventing dental fear isn’t always easy, but there are steps that you can take to make it less likely that your child will fear the dentist.

These include things like ensuring that you only talk about the dentist in a positive way and avoid using words like ‘pain,’ ‘scary,’ ‘nervous,’ and ‘fear’. This is important because if your children hear you using these words in regards to the dentist, they will think that there is something to fear.

It’s also important to be selective about the dentist that you take your child to, to ensure that they have a good dental care experience. Often, adult practices are scary for kids, which is why it’s worthwhile looking for a family dentist, Green Valley, Sydney, that offers a child-friendly experience.

To help get your child ready for an upcoming trip to the dentist, it can help to tell them what to expect. One of the best ways to do this is through role play; perhaps you could buy your child a dental play kit and play dentists with them? Another option could be to read a book about a trip to see the dentist. By showing your child what to expect, you can help to reduce any feelings of anxiety or worry that they have about what to expect.

Dental fear is a common problem that affects people of all ages, including children. However, if you want to ensure that your children have a good relationship with their oral health, it’s important to know how to prevent dental fear.

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