It is believed that fear can be learned and also instilled by a secondary source. In other words, in some cases it doesn’t just come from nowhere, and a person can fear something they never even experienced before. According to studies, dental fear and anxiety affects over 29 percent of the adult population, and almost half of children, and these figures may be low. Does your child fear the dentist, and if so, does he or she fear the dentist because of a bad experience or for some other reason? You can help your child avoid dental anxiety.
What Causes Dental Fear
Dental fear and anxiety has been studied since the 1960s. The health of your teeth can affect the overall health of your body so it is an important issue. Those that fear the dentist may skip appointments, or simply never go to the dentist at all. But why do certain people fear the dentist? According to research it can be one of several reasons. Some fears are irrational, but when it comes to dentistry there is nothing irrational about it. Dental treatments can cause pain, more so in the past than in the present. The three major reasons it is believed that children fear the dentist are:
Anticipation: It makes sense that when a child considers a stranger putting scary looking tools into their mouth they may anticipate pain and suffering which can cause fear and anxiety.
Experience: If a child experienced pain while at the dentist, or an unpleasant attitude from their dentist it can initiate distrust, fear, and anxiety.
Learned Fear: Strong evidence has indicated that the level of a mother’s dental fear and anxiety indicate whether or not a child will react negatively to a dental visit. It is a major indicator especially for children who have never visited the dentist before.
How You Can Help
Because one of the major factors that children have dental anxiety is due to the anxiety of a parent, you can help your child avoid developing dental anxiety with your attitude.
- Make visiting the dentist seem fun.
- Talk to your child about visiting the dentist using positive language.
- Utilize books, videos, and online sites that provide dental games to help your child get ready for their dental visit.
- Schedule your child’s first visit while they are young, preferably when their first tooth erupts, or around their first birthday.
ABOUT YOUR ANKENY, IA DENTIST:
Dr. Peddicord offers a complete range of preventative, cosmetic, and restorative dental procedures as well as high quality dental prosthetics. Dr. Peddicord can answer your inquiries, and provide the services you need to maintain the health, beauty, and function of your teeth. To schedule an appointment at Peddicord Family Dentistry, please contact us at 515-963-3339.