Calm and happy kids means successful dental visits and a healthier mouth!
Phobias are strange things and it can sometimes be difficult to understand where they have come from. Some phobias are common, such as a fear of flying or even of spiders. Others are definitely more on the ‘weird’ spectrum, including ‘linonophobia’ (a fear of string) and ‘chorophobia’ (a fear of dancing).
One of the most common ones that many people suffer from to varying degrees though is ‘odontophobia’ which, as you may have guessed from the name, is a fear of the dentists.
At Mike Allen’s Dental Practice, we see our fair share of nervous dental patients from the Burton area. Many are not only afraid of visiting the dentist, but when they do, they often apologise for their anxiety. The thing is that we see lots of people like this, and if you are afraid of having dental treatment, or even a check up, don’t worry, you are most definitely not alone.
There are a number of ‘tactics’ that you can use to reduce your stress levels, but, seeing as it is believed that many phobias start when we are very young, we thought it would be worth looking at how parents can help their children to avoid this problem in the early years.
Deal with your own phobia first
The truth is that, especially early on, children learn much about life from their parents. So, if mum or dad are panicking about their upcoming dental visit, it is hardly surprising that the children also see this as something to avoid if they possibly can. Dental phobia is a problem, and one that can lead to serious oral health issues. For parents whose anxiety is relatively mild, it may be enough to just put on a brave face around the kids. More serious anxiety though may need to be addressed.
There are lots of websites dedicated to dental anxiety solutions and it is worth looking at these to find one that works for you. It may be a case of trial and error but hopefully you will gradually overcome it.
If you are still very anxious about dentists, you may wish to ask a close relative to bring your child when they need to have their teeth checked. A favourite auntie might even make it into a treat for the child. Just make sure that they are not nervous too, and that you have authorised them to be the carer for your child with our team.
Keeping kids relaxed