Parents, Don’t Let Your Dental Phobia Affect Your Kids’ Oral Health
April is National Anxiety Month, but adults and children across the nation battle dental anxiety year-round. If your fear of the dentist is preventing you from keeping your gorgeous, healthy smile, it’s the perfect month to beat your phobia. Fear of the dentist is extremely common. Dental experts estimate that eight out of every 10 people have some form of dental anxiety. Unfortunately, if you avoid going to the dentist, your oral health will suffer. Without professional dental care, you are at risk of gum disease, problems chewing, cavities, bad breath, and tooth loss.
Causes of Dental Anxiety
You could have developed your fear of the dentist for a number of reasons. A painful or negative childhood experience is a common cause. Perhaps the strange smells and sounds of a dentist’s office give you the creeps, or maybe you feel out of control and helpless during treatment. Other possible reasons include being embarrassed about your teeth, hearing horror stories from others, and simply having to face the unknown.
Don’t Share Your Dental Phobia with Your Children
According to a recent study released by Delta Dental Plans, fear of the dentist may be inadvertently passed along from parents to children. About half the parents surveyed reported having some form of dental phobia. The number of children who suffered from the same fears was almost identical. Experts believe that kids can easily pick up on their parents’ negative thoughts and dental anxiety, so it’s important to both address your own fears and stay positive when discussing dental care with your kids. Here are several ways to help manage your dental anxiety and prevent spreading it to the next generation.
- Seek a dentist who specializes in treating anxious patients.
- Share your dental anxiety with your dentist and his or her staff.
- Wear headphones during treatment, so you won’t hear the drill or other sounds.
- Use relaxation techniques, or seek professional treatment for your dental phobia.
- Ask your dentist to explain procedures in detail before performing them.
- Agree on hand signals to communicate with your dentist during treatment.
- Ask your dentist about sedation dentistry. Modern anesthesia options can often help ease anxiety symptoms.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Owings Mills, call Valley Dental Associates today at (443) 898-1240 or make an appointment.
Valley Dental Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Owings Mills. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Valley Dental Associates, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Valley Dental Associates.