Dental phobia is a phobia or fear, or anxiety related to dental treatment or even with dentist. Dental phobia is there in everyone but when it comes to children it is most commonly seen. Elimination of this anxiety or phobia in early age is very important as this is one of the most important deciding factor of a person’s oral health.
If a person becomes negative regarding dental treatment in their early ages the person becomes reluctant to visit a dentist throughout his/her lifetime leading to poor oral health and “Healthy Mouth leads to a healthy body” so these phobias need to be eliminated.
Reasons for Dental phobias
-This is seen commonly seen in children who had a bad experience in past regarding dental treatment. First dental visit is really important for a child’s psychology towards a dentist. every first visit to a dentist should end in smiling child, there should be absolutely no invasive treatment done for the child during his/her first visit.
– Fear of unknown is there hence child should be informed regarding each and every minor step to be performed before hand by showing them the same outside the mouth and use of Euphemism (alternative simple words to explain child better like shower to aeroter) should be done to explain complicated technical terminologies.- Dental phobia can be related to phobia from Doctors as child relate his/her pediatrician to a dentist from whom he must be getting vaccinations done. Positive feedback should be given to the child by the parents trying to help the child to distinguish between the two.
– Regular dental visits should be maintained after every 6 months irrespective of any known dental problem to build a trust and confidence in child. If a child is taken to the dentist only during pain or cavity with no exposure in past, then child tries to relate pain with dentist which should never be the case.
– Healthy child doctor relationship to eliminate phobias. Too much overprotective or overindulgent parents who do not let the child to communicate their problem leads to anxiety and a bond cannot be developed between child and doctor. Child should interact to the dentist rather than parents telling each and everything on their behalf. This helps to create a bond and a sense of confidence in the child towards dentist and dental treatment.
– Tensed ambiance and working atmosphere are also one of the reasons in dental phobia especially for children. There should be completely relaxing ambiance with mild music and friendly atmosphere for kids and for engaging them in waiting areas there should be some activities like drawing or puzzles to keep them engaged and interested.
– Fear only by listening bad experiences from others hence absolutely no such things should be discussed in front of children and they should never be threatened in home for a doctor visit as punishment. Many parents or elder siblings threaten younger once at home that if they don’t obey their elders they will be taken to a doctor or dentist as punishment basis this leads to in-build fear even if they have never visited one.
Role of Parents and Dentist
There is an important role of both parents/guardians and the dentist in helping the child to overcome these phobias.
Should start child’s grooming towards positive attitude w.r.t dental treatments or dental visits. healthy oral habits right from child’s birth should be followed by parents and later on same should be passed to the kids. Healthy dietary habits, cariogenic and non-cariogenic diets should be well known, and non-cariogenic diet should be followed.
Bottle feeding should be stopped at a right age. Regular visits to a dentist should be there. Elder siblings if any should be present at time of treatment as they many a times relate them as a role model and show positive attitude towards the treatment.
Should create a friendly ambiance and attitude towards child. Healthy child doctor relation should be maintained. “Tell-show-do” should be followed during every new treatment i.e. everything should be told then shown outside the mouth then should be exactly performed.
Use of latest painless anesthesia should be encouraged to make dental experience as pain free as possible. Child should be felt like he is the in charge of his treatment and he should be allowed to express his fear of phobias anytime during treatment and that should be eradicated as per need.
As parents you should never ignore your kids dental care as it sets the base of overall health and helps in the growth of the child. And for this you should always go and visit a specialist i.e. the kids dentist.
They are well-trained in taking care of a child’s dental needs and know how to manage their anxiety of visiting a dentist. If you are new to a place, then you can always go for kids dentist near me options and opt for the one which suits you the best.