Children are naturally curious. When a child shows fear when it comes to going to the dentist, there is probably a reason behind it. Dentists advise bringing infants as young as six months into the office to evaluate proper dental development. Bringing children up while they are still babies also helps to forge a bond of trust. They see the dentist’s office as a familiar place with unusual noises. It isn’t until they get older that they start to fear having their teeth checked.
The Sterile Environment
Young children are more accustomed to their homes and schools where everything has a “cluttered but clean” look. The lobby is pretty accommodating when they first visit the dentist’s office. Most offices have a few toys and books to keep them occupied. The sterile environment in the back, however, is a different story. People wearing masks, caps, and white coats can be intimidating. The tools and bright lights can also add to a child’s unchecked anxiety. Having the dentist or hygienist talk to them as they go through the treatment area may help ease their fears.
Unfamiliar Noises and Odors
Children with sensory issues may struggle with unfamiliar noises and odors often associated with a dentist’s office. The constant noise and bright lights may be enough to spark their anxiety and make an exam close to impossible to complete. Wearing sound-canceling headphones may be an option for older children, allowing them to clean their teeth without stressing them out.
Stories Told By Older Siblings
Childhood concerns can be triggered by narratives exchanged between siblings. Older siblings, whether jokingly or unintentionally through taunting, can inspire terror in their younger siblings. Regardless of the intent, the outcome is consistent, causing genuine anxiety and mental anguish. Parents have an essential role in mitigating this. They should attempt to discourage the spread of scary stories and instead build positive connections with dentist appointments, actively supporting reassuring and hopeful perspectives for their children.
Eliminating the Fear Factor
The key is to uncover the cause of a child’s fear and eliminate it as quickly and efficiently as possible. Schedule a visit with the dentist that doesn’t involve testing or treatment. Make every effort to show the child the different types of work in a dentist’s office without additional anxiety or stress. A few minutes of simply visiting the dentist may do wonders when relieving their fears and rebuilding trusting relationships.
Easing Apprehensions for Older Patients
Children aren’t the only ones who are afraid of the dentist. Many adults are, too. They avoid going to the dentist because they had a bad childhood experience or have watched someone else experience a painful one. They won’t go to the dentist until they have something wrong, like a cavity or a broken tooth. Dentists grasp the issue and strive to minimize your fears, prioritizing your comfort by employing every possible measure.
Visiting the dentist doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience for anyone. If your young child has harbored a fear of dentistry, take proactive steps by visiting Montrose Family Dental (https://montrosefamilydental.com/). Introducing your child to their dentist marks the initial stride toward establishing a wholesome and trusting relationship. Join us in reshaping your child’s dental experience into a positive journey.