A few years ago, I realized that I was thinking about dental care all wrong. Instead of listening carefully to my dentist and making the necessary changes, I assumed that he was ultimately responsible for making sure that my teeth stayed healthy. Unfortunately, I developed a few serious cavities because I failed to properly brush and floss my teeth, and I knew that it was my fault. I decided to start taking notes at my dental checkups and carefully abiding by the dentist's orders. The difference was almost miraculous. This blog is all about working with your dentist to improve your result.
Many children are scared of the dentist, but it is important to address this anxiety early to ensure they receive proper dental care during their development phases. To help with this, consider the three commonly asked questions below:
How Can You Help with Anxious Children?
As a parent, the most important thing you can do to alleviate your children's concerns is to be a great role model. Your kids will look up to you for guidance when they are nervous, so it is important that you promote positive behaviors for your children to imitate.
When it comes to teaching your children, knowledge is everything. In order to help your children overcome their fears, they need to be educated. For the most part, regular trips to the dentist will allow your child to become more familiar with the environment, which will help reduce their anxiety. However, one way you can speed up this process is by practicing proper dental care with your child. This doesn't mean simply making sure they brush their teeth; rather, you should set aside time each day to educate your son or daughter on the importance of oral hygiene and how to keep their teeth strong and healthy. Over time, this will allow them to become more comfortable with dental care, and they will fully appreciate the importance of visiting the dentist.
How Can Dentists Help?
If your child's apprehension continues despite your best efforts, you should approach their dentist directly for advice. Let your child's dentist know exactly what your son or daughter is worried about, which will give them plenty of time to plan their visit accordingly. Your child's dentist will have significant experience in handling anxiety, so they will be able to fully tailor their approach for your specific circumstances.
If necessary, there is a wide range of different distraction techniques that dentists have available in order to relax nervous patients. These can range from audio stimuli, such as a music player, to immersive visual stimuli, such as a Virtual Reality headset. Whatever it may be, the idea is to give your child some external stimulus to hold their attention, which will help them to relax and let their mind wander from the dentist's office.
Of course, all dentists will be trained to a similar standard, but this doesn't mean that each dentist is as good as the next. In order to help alleviate your child's concerns, make sure you choose a dentist that is good at handling nervous patients and children, such as a pediatric dentist like those at Sunnyside Dentistry for Children-David E Doyle, DDS. Great dentists will have a warm and friendly demeanour that will help relax your child. This can only be determined through talking to the dentist, so make sure you shop around for the best fit!
What If the Fear Doesn't Go Away?
Although distraction methods and educating your child will help in the vast majority of cases, there are some situations where these methods aren't enough. For the most part, a persistent fear of the dentist suggests could be caused by two things. Firstly, it may be that your child has grown up with an inherent fear of the dentist and this has become rooted in their mind. Secondly, it could be that your child has a phobia.
If your child is young and traditional methods haven't alleviated their fear of the dental chair, there is a good chance that they may have a phobia. This doesn't mean they can't be treated, it just means that you need a different approach. If you do suspect your child has a phobia, you should speak to your dentist about alternative procedures. There are devices on the market – such as the non-thermal plasma brush – that remove the need for traditional technologies such as the drill. These non-invasive procedures can significantly reduce the fear that people attach to invasive dental procedures, allowing them to feel much more comfortable in the dentist's chair.