Most of the kids fear anxiety while going to the dentist. Sometimes we become hesitant to put our kids in situations that may trigger anxiety, which prevents them from getting proper treatment for the health problems. Dental anxiety is a genuine problem, and we will discuss it in detail.
What Is Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety is defined as the state of fear or nervousness produced by the mere thought of a dental appointment. This is also defined as dental phobia. World Health Organization (WHO) also recognized this as Odontophobia, which means fear of the dentist. It is estimated that 15 to 20% of the population suffers from dental anxiety.
Children start to develop anxiety as early as five years old. Research shows that 10% of kids and young adults have faced severe pressure. Children with an intense phobia will throw tantrums and pretend to be sick on the appointment day.
Reasons For Dental Anxiety
Children are more susceptible to anxiety as compared to adults. Adults with high anxiety have a history in their childhood. Some of the reasons for dental anxiety are:
- Bad Experience
When a child has a bad experience with one dentist, he may generalize to all other dentists. He will relate dental appointments with toothaches, discomfort, and pain instead of healthy teeth and gums. So it is important to discuss the source of anxiety and treat them.
- Dental Treatment
Small children often develop anxiety because they fear that the dentist will recommend further treatments. Treatments such as fillings and scaling enhance their anxiety. They also sense embarrassment if the dental report comes out wrong in front of the family.
- Less Understanding
Children face anxiety when they come across a new environment. The sight and sound of a dental office may be a new thing for the kids. While talking to the kids, it is important to talk about healthy, clean kids instead of tooth pain, braces, and instruments. In this way, kids will associate happy feelings with the dentist.
Symptoms Of Dental Anxiety
Following are the signs of dental anxiety in children:
- Difficulty with sleeping at night before the appointment.
- Feeling extremely sad before the appointment.
- Highly sweating at room temperature.
- Feeling irritated.
- Feeling dizziness.
- Pretend to be sick to cancel dental appointments.
Treatment For Dental Anxiety
It is important to kids’ dental anxiety because increased anxiety will cause worse oral health. It will also lead to a lifelong fear of dentists. Here is how we can help to overcome anxiety:
- An attentive team at the dentist’s office is necessary to overcome anxiety. The team must communicate well with the child and feel them at home by showing different tools and techniques the dentist uses.
- Taking children to the dentist with modern technologies will help them overcome fear.
- Offering incentives and rewards to kids after the treatment can help to reduce anxiety.
Dental Anxiety is common in children. It is crucial to find the source of stress and to reduce it. Reducing anxiety will help in having good oral health. Otherwise, children may develop lifelong fear.
*Neither this nor any other content in this media is meant to prescribe, recommend, or prevent any treatment or procedure. We highly recommend that you get the advice of a qualified dentist or other medical practitioners regarding your specific dental condition