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Dental anxiety in children is real and widespread in many parts of the world. In Australia, it’s reported by the Australian Research Centre for Population and Oral Health that about one in 10 children become anxious when they go to the dentist.
Whether you’re a dental clinic in Townsville or Adelaide, you’ll find children throwing a tantrum, begging not to go to the dentist. Some people fret about their child’s anxiety towards the dentist and will cancel or delay the appointments. However, doing so prevents a child from developing important dental habits like regularly brushing their teeth. Rare or non-existent visits to the dentist also increase the risk of cavities and other dental problems.
In order to ease your child’s fear, it’s important to understand its causes. The causes of dental anxiety vary in every child, although the following are most common:
Fear of pain
Children who have suffered a bad experience from a painful medical treatment or dental appointments are more likely to dread their next dental appointment. Patients are usually placed in a reclined position and are given little to no control over their situation. Invasive procedures like scraping and drilling also heighten a child’s anxiety.
When adults suffer from dental anxiety, they tend to transfer that fear to their child. Children may also become anxious about visiting the dentist when they hear the experiences of other children.
Fear of the unknown
Children often enjoy routine in their lives and this creates a sense of security. For first-timers in the dental clinic, they become anxious because they don’t know what’s in store for them.
Ensuring your child’s comfortable at the dental clinic helps lay an early foundation of healthy dental habits. The following tips can help in easing your child out of their dental anxiety:
Choosing the right dentist
It’s important to look for a dentist that’s attentive to the needs of your child. Several clinics have dentists with an interest in pediatric dentistry, so they’re more attuned to the things that cause dental anxiety among children.
Dentists employ a variety of methods to help children relax during a procedure. Some dentists use laughing gas, the friendlier term for nitrous oxide. While it may have some parents worried, it is a commonly used mild and safe sedative agent. Others dentists sedate through pills, IVs or anaesthesia, causing inducing drowsiness and sometimes sleep in the child.
The earlier your child starts visiting the dentist, the less likely they are to develop anxiety. Many dentists recommend booking a child’s first appointment in their sixth month, or by their first birthday, at the latest.
Once your child has their first dental visit, be sure to schedule regular visits. Building rapport with the dentist and the staff and becoming familiar with the clinic will go a long way in easing your child’s anxiety.
Answering your child’s questions
Sit down with your child the day before their appointment and talk to them about what they can expect at the dental clinic. Discuss with them the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth and how the dentist will help them. Answer your child’s questions honestly while putting them at ease.
Easing Your Child’s Worries at Casey Dentists
Casey Dentists understands the importance of establishing healthy dental habits at an early age. Our oral health therapist has an interest in pediatric dentistry and will educate your children about their dental health. Our dentists also perform preventive dental cleaning and repair of tooth cavities, all while making sure your child is comfortable during the procedure.
We also specialise in high-quality dentistry, whether you require orthodontic or cosmetic treatment. Our team of dentists have a wealth of experience, and they offer a high level of customer experience in a relaxed and caring environment.
To book an appointment, call 47253324 or go or click here to request online.