How to Prevent Child's Dentist Anxiety

How to Prevent Child’s Dentist Anxiety

Apr 01, 2023

Dental visits are essential to our children’s oral hygiene and health. As a parent, it’s our role to protect our kids from impeding danger, but what happens when they freak out about a dental visit? It is common for children to express fear and stress when they learn that they have a dental appointment and seeing the dentist is just as triggering. At Dental Arts Seminole, pediatric dental experts will ensure your child doesn’t experience any anxiety triggers during a procedure. Visit our offices near you for more information.

Why Do Children Have Dental Anxiety?

Children are young and unsure about dental procedures. Patients with dental anxiety experience intense fear and dread when they think of a dental office. No wonder some even have panic attacks before and after the procedures. According to Dr. Cecilia Sorelle, it’s easy for a child to panic attack if they feel unsafe as they anticipate potential danger. Panic attacks trigger the body’s nervous system to engage in an involuntary flight-or-fight response. And this can lead to increased heart rates, verbal outbursts, chills, sweating, and even breathing difficulties in the child.

If your child suffers from dental anxiety, the thought of dental procedures can trigger an uncontrollable emotional response. These symptoms can be challenging to control if left to progress into adolescence. Dentophobia is the management of dental anxiety, and it’s easier to address it in children before it goes into adulthood.

Our dentist in Seminole also adds that negative dental experiences can lead to the dental phobia in children. As adults, we must also have a positive attitude towards dental care to avoid transferring it to our kids.

Common Reasons for Children’s Dental Anxiety

The first step to helping your child manage their dental phobia is identifying their fears. While there are no particular reasons for the phobia, there are various causes of dental phobia. Some of them include the following:

  • Fear of Humiliation or Embarrassment

Some kids have prominent dental issues such as deformities or decay, making them self-conscious. This fear is common to kids who have experienced bullying related to teeth or smiles.

  • Fear of Injections

The fear of injections is common among children and adults. Kids are very aware that there is pain associated with needles and injections. However, our pediatric dentist in Seminole knows the best techniques to make the injection painless.

  • Fear of Pain

There are a lot of speculations that dental treatments are painful. And it’s likely your child could develop a fear of pain after hearing others relieve their uneventful experiences during a dental procedure. This might lead to your child developing a fear of experiencing pain during their treatment. However, assure them that kid’s dentists near you are very gentle and work hard to make their patients feel comfortable during the procedure.

  • Fear of Losing Control

Laying on a dental chair while someone is working inside your mouth with unfamiliar tools could trigger dental anxiety. Your child will lose control of being unable to communicate if they feel uncomfortable or in pain when their mouth is obstructed. This state could be scary to your child since they will be unable to naturally remove themselves from a painful situation. Our pediatric dentist near you will alleviate this fear by letting your child communicate using hand signals when the procedure becomes overwhelming.

  • Fear of Anesthesia

The goal of anesthesia is to make the procedure comfortable. However, your child may feel anxious about being put to sleep and unconscious throughout the procedure. Additionally, they may not like the IV or the mask administering the sedation. Explain to the child what to expect and why they require dental sedation.

  • Fear of Obstructed Breathing

During a dental procedure, your child has to hold their mouth open for a prolonged period. This position could make breathing more difficult than usual, especially for kids who breathe through the mouth. For instance, if your child suffers from asthma attacks, this position could trigger memories of unpleasant asthma attacks, causing anxiety.

  • Unexplained Fears

There are scenarios by which it may be difficult to tell precisely what is the cause of dental anxiety in your child. They could have heard an adult or another child describe a painful dental procedure. Or maybe it could be that they have sensory issues that make it difficult for them to handle the smells and sounds of dental offices. And finally, maybe their dental anxiety is a result of not knowing what to expect. Communicate with your child’s dental team about any past experiences and constantly communicate with them, so they know how to gauge your child’s response to the procedures.