Did you know that 12% of the population suffers not only from dental anxiety but from serious dental fear? Whether your child has dental anxiety or dental fear, it can be difficult to get them to the Nicholasville pediatric dentist.
Not only can it be difficult to get your child in the car to go to the dentist in the first place, but you will find it can be next to impossible for your dentist to treat your frightened child, especially if he or she throws a fit.
Fortunately, there are ways to soothe your child’s dental anxiety before you even visit the kids’ dentist. And, if you are unable to do this, your dentist may be able to help soothe your child when it’s time for the dental procedure.
Keep reading and learn more about the options you can try.
Understanding Dental Anxiety and Dental Fear
Both dental anxiety and dental fear can be serious problems when it comes to going to the best dentist for kids, but dental fear tends to be much more serious. Dental fear often stems from a previous bad dental experience that your child may have had. For example, your child may have experienced pain or other discomforts while getting their teeth cleaned or a cavity drilled.
If this discomfort was severe enough or if your child perceived it as severe, your child may not have let it go. As a result, your child may now believe that visits to the Nicholasville children’s dentist are something to be afraid of. This is because your child will expect more pain and discomfort if they visit the dentist again.
They may try to avoid going to the dentist at all costs to avoid this perceived discomfort. Even if you drag them to the dentist, they may be so upset that it will be next to impossible to work on their teeth.
Dental anxiety is very similar but it is less severe than dental fear. Your child may express apprehension instead of fear when it comes to visiting the dentist. When you take your child with dental anxiety to the dentist, they may start to shake or cry.
Some children may through fits while others may faint from fear. Fortunately, there are a few ways in which you can keep your child from having such severe reactions to visiting the dentist. The first step is to make sure that your child feels as calm as possible before and during the dental procedure.
You can do this in various ways, but the best ways tend to involve distracting your child from the procedure itself.
Ensure That Your Child Is as Comfortable as Possible
When your child is afraid of the dentist, you will want to try to diminish that fear as much as possible. Doing this will not only save your child trouble, but it will save you and your dentist a lot of trouble too. Before going to the dentist, you should try to explain to your child what they might expect.
You should avoid describing the dentist and the dental procedure in a way that might frighten your child. Instead of describing the details of drilling a cavity or cleaning a tooth, you should focus on the positive results of the procedure. Telling your child about the healthy, shiny teeth they will have after the dental visit may help to soothe some of their anxiety.
If your child is older, you will be able to provide them with more detail. You can tell them about how they won’t feel any pain during the procedure and that they have nothing to be afraid of. Making them understand that the dentist is just another person and not a dangerous monster is important.
If your child is very young, you will have to be more simplistic with your descriptions. For young children, it may be beneficial to let them bring something that comforts them such as their favorite toy or blanket. This will allow the child to have an additional feeling of protection and security.
Distracting your child during the dental procedure may also be beneficial. You can do this by allowing the child to play with your phone or tablet for a while. But what should you do if none of these approaches work?
Don’t Forget about Sedation Dentistry
Many parents may be wary about opting for sedation dentistry for their child at first, but sedation dentistry can actually be very beneficial to everyone involved. By using a mild sedative on your child, you and your child can both relax and the dentist can get the job done without any problems. Dentists tend to use nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, for patients who suffer from dental anxiety.
Nitrous oxide will not make your child fall asleep. Instead, it will allow your child to calm down and experience a positive, happy mood (which is the reason nitrous oxide is called laughing gas). Under the influence of nitrous oxide, your child won’t start crying or throw a fit.
They will be calm throughout the dental procedure. You also don’t have to worry about the gas staying in your child’s system for long. It wears off after a few minutes, especially once the dentist provides the child with a supply of oxygen which flushes out the nitrous oxide.
Your Nicholasville Pediatric Dentist and Dental Anxiety
When your child suffers from dental anxiety, it can be difficult to bring them to the dentist. But by finding ways to comfort and distract your child and by using sedation dentistry from your Nicholasville pediatric dentist, your child should no longer have any problems visiting the dentist.
To learn more, contact us here.