Being afraid of the dentist is a common fear for many kids, however it may be surprising to realize that this fear has crossed over for many into adulthood. As a result, many adults avoid going to the dentist, risking poor oral hygiene and creating problems that could have been prevented with regular dental checkups.
Some of the top reasons the dentist seems scary to kids isn’t actually true. If you are having a hard time getting your kids to go to the dentist, or you are struggling to find the motivation to get your own teeth checked, consider these top reasons people find the dentist frightening, and how to get over these fears.
It starts young
Most people who are afraid of the dentist feel this way because they had bad experiences with their first dentist. They carry this with them into their adulthood, remembering the fear and possibly pain they felt in these first checkups.
As a result of this, it is essential to get a great pediatric dentist. Your kids will base the rest of their dental experiences off this initial encounter. Find the right pediatric dentist for your kids, but also a great dentist for adults.
There are many great dentists out there who understand the anxieties people have when first visiting the dentist. There are even some dentists out there are offer services that are specifically designed to help those who are afraid of dentists including sedation, hypnosis, and reassurance. Ask others who the pediatric dentist is that they use, and find out how they turn a scary situation into a positive experience.
Your dental experience can be gradual
Some people feel that they have to take care of the dental problem all at once at a single checkup. While this may be more conducive to busy schedules, this isn’t the only option. Rather than dealing with it all at once, instead take the time to visit the dentist before the initial appointment. Most dentists would be happy to meet with their patients beforehand, easing some of their fears before cleaning their teeth.
For children, this process is especially important. The dentist or dental assistant can explain a bit more about the process, showing them there is no reason to be afraid. The kids can become familiar with the surroundings, feeling more comfortable when it is time for the actual appointment.
A positive experience
A positive experience from a young age is crucial for young children. Dentists are now working to create the best experience for young children. Some of the most popular incentives that are being offered are:
- TV options – children and adults alike are able to watch television during the whole process. This makes the dental experience seem more enjoyable and much quicker.
- Prize incentives – many pediatric dentists have initiated prize programs for those who practice good brushing habits, and are good for the dentist. Those kids who don’t have cavities are given a choice of prize, and possible a treat that is healthier than some other options for their teeth. These incentives are sometimes carried over into adult dentist offices, with coupons or discounts given for those who are able to keep their dental appointment, even when it is scheduled six months in advance.
Dentists understand how unnerving an experience getting your teeth worked on can be. Through these different options, they are able to make the experience much more pleasant.
Drop your previous ideas about the dentist and realize how positive of an experience it could be. Rather than fretting the experience, allowing your dental hygiene to get even worse, find a dentist that understands the fears some people have, and is able to combat them. You will have fewer problems, and a healthier smile by investing in regular visits to the dentist.
By +Cassie Costner
Cassie writes for Stevenson Pediatric Dentistry on the best ways to encourage kids to visit the dentist. She has also written on the best foods for your teeth, and what to do when your child gets cavities.