Overcoming Your Child's Fear Of Dental Treatment

Dentist Blog

Parents may wonder what causes the fears that seem to trouble their children. As much as you might reassure your child, they might still be afraid of various things—whether it's the dark, the monster under their bed, or the dentist. Many of these irrational fears will lose their power as your child grows up, before being entirely discarded. However, if your child develops a fear of the dentist, some action may be needed to overcome this. You don't want this fear to prevent a dentist from being able to efficiently treat your child, nor do you want such an essential service to traumatize your child. So what's a parent to do?

A Specialist Approach Can Be Helpful

You may want to consider taking your child to a specialist children's dentist. This isn't a comment on your existing dentist's capabilities, but a pediatric dentist has more experience in treating younger, potentially nervous patients, and has a chairside manner that reflects this. The decor of the clinic itself may also be designed to appeal to younger patients, which can help to put your child at ease.

Familiarization and Scheduling an Appointment

A specialist children's dentist can be more accommodating in other ways, too. Ask the clinic if a familiarization visit is possible. This is a brief, introductory visit where your child can learn the clinic's layout and meet the staff who will be treating them. Additionally, ask reception staff about the times when the clinic is less likely to be busy. Consider scheduling your child's appointments for these times, keeping wait times (when any anxiety may have an opportunity to build) to the bare minimum.

When Medication Might Be Beneficial

If (despite your best efforts) your child's phobia remains, additional measures can be helpful. Ask your child's dentist about dental sedation. This isn't intended to knock your child out so they can be treated. Conscious sedation may be appropriate, which often involves nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Your child remains awake, but in a relaxed state, making the overall experience far less worrying for them. A dentist may also suggest premedication for especially nervous young patients. Your child will take a dose of an appropriate medication (usually a low-strength form of benzodiazepine) at home prior to visiting the clinic.

With each dental visit, your child's confidence should grow as their fear of the dentist subsides. This means that any medication or other such measures will only have a temporary purpose. Before too long, your child's dentist will be about as scary as those barely-remembered monsters under the bed.

Contact a local children's dentist clinic to get more advice.


5 January 2022

To Tell the Tooth: A Dental Blog

Do you care for your teeth like you should? Most people brush their teeth, but so many people rush through this process and are not as careful as they should be. Still others avoid flossing. A lack of dental care over the years can lead to increased decay. Thankfully, we have dentists who can treat decay with fillings, crowns, and in some cases, root canals. Dentists also provide preventative care. They can clean your teeth and use things like fluoride treatments to strengthen your enamel. The more you know about dental care, the better you'll be able to care for your mouth, so feel free to read some of the articles on this website.