Posts made in September, 2017

Horror Film or Real Life: I’m scared of my dentist

Posted by on Sep 18, 2017 in Health | 0 comments

It turns out many people are afraid of the dentist. Why? I know for me personally, I have apprehensions of the dentist besides cleaning. Words like gingivitis and plaque give me dental anxiety. I don’t understand half the terms the dentist says, but I care a lot about my smile and oral hygiene. Could it be something rooted from a negative dental experience? According to The Daily Bulldog, this fear of the dentist stems from a negative experience from our childhood. What can parents do better?

Unfortunately, children can become “dental-phobes” when they have a negative experience in the dentist office. This may lead them to believe they should be afraid of the dentist, even as adults. For parents, it is important to remind yourself that their dental anxieties don’t have to be also of their children. Dentists treat many children. One dentist finds that parents over-share what will happen during the child’s appointment, which can set them up for failure before the child even comes to the office. It is important for dentists to maintain a positive, perky attitude when working with children. This shows the child that the dentist isn’t a horrible place to be. When children come for the first time, dentists like to prepare them by explaining what they will be doing during the procedure. Describing the procedure and describing the sensations and tastes have been found to prove very effective in reducing children’s dental anxiety. When a child receives anesthetic, they do not know that dentists are using a needle. They may feel some discomfort, but dentists find this discomfort with a needle makes a child react more negatively if they do not realize where the discomfort is coming from. The numbing gel and hiding the needle from the child’s view greatly helps reduce their fear during the part of the procedure. Distraction techniques can also help a child get through more difficult parts and leave them with a sense of pride. Many times, dentist are not successful in alleviating a child’s dental anxiety. This is when the importance of different anxiety-reducing treatments can come into play. This is a chance for parents to consider their options. “Laughing gas,” is common in treating fearful children and adults. While the procedure does not change, it helps the patient or child feel more relaxed. It may usually be best to have the visit be a “one and done” sort of deal. That would be the most practical. The idea is to limit the number of visits to the office that the child must face and all of that treatment happens while they’re asleep. The field of dentistry has come a long way in helping relieve a patient’s anxiety. By treating young patients and learning these parenting techniques, fewer children will face adult dental anxiety. This ensures the route of good oral health and positive dental experiences.

I still have apprehension about going to the dentist, and I am afraid of the pain. I would also enjoy it if my dentist gave me a breakdown of what I will be feeling and tasting.

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