From screaming in the car, to tantrums, to crying in a dental chair, dental anxieties for kids is actually very common. There are many different estimates on what percentage of the population deals with dental fears, but no matter which study you look at it is a not so small group. Some people estimate that 1 out of every 5 children is afraid of the dentist. Aside from the short-term issues of going to the dentist, this can have some serious issues in the future if it isn’t addressed. Some parents start skipping the dentist for their kids because they don’t want the children to go through that experience routinely. Other parents have their kids go but might not consider ways to help prevent the issue. This can lead to young adults skipping the dentist or having a negative relationship with their oral health. In this article, we will discuss the importance of overcoming dental anxiety for children. If you live in the Chicago area and need to see a dentist, give us a call.
The first and most important question regarding dental anxiety is “what is the cause”? This isn’t a one-size fits all question. Different children have different reasons they might feel uncomfortable at the dentist. And children might not be great at explaining or expressing the reasoning behind it. Here are a few things to consider as route causes of dental anxiety:
Overcoming dental fears is extremely important. Not only can that help in the short-term with upcoming dental visits, but it can also help in the long-term by making it easier for your children to take care of their teeth and eventually schedule their own dental appointments when they grow up. First and foremost you need to find the right dentist. While it can be tempting to go to the dentist that is closest, you need a dentist that works with kids and works well with them. A good children dentist is encouraging and doesn’t make children feel scared, ashamed, or other negative feelings during their visit. You can also help lay some good groundwork. Encourage your kids by telling them that you will be with them during the appointment, or by going over what they can expect during their appointment. Some kids really enjoy playing “dentist” at home because it helps them rationalize what they will experience as a patient.
If you live in the Chicago area and are looking for a great dental office for you and your children, we have 5 offices throughout Chicago!