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How To Tackle Dental Phobia In Kids?

How To Tackle Dental Phobia In Kids?

One of the biggest fears that children have is of visiting the dentist. Dental phobia, therefore, is one of the biggest problems faced by dentists working in the field of pediatric dentistry. There are a lot of factors that lead to this fear in the mind of the kids. The parents act as a significant factor for inducing dental phobia in the minds of their child. The dental phobia experienced by the parents of a child can naturally lead to causing the same phobia in the child. It is therefore crucial for both parents and the dentist to tackle this phobia amongst the child. Here is a list of steps that can help in combating the dental phobia in children:

  • Parents need to talk to their children about the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene. Talking about this in a friendly way helps the children to gain trust in their parents and therefore, they understand the importance of visiting the dentist. It is also essential for parents to be patient with their children as children take the time to understand what their parents are trying to tell them and that the phobia takes time to end. According to studies, 10 in every 50 children cope with the dental phobia once their parents talk about their children through it.
  • Parents need to communicate with their children about visiting the dentist well in advance so that the children don't feel that they pressurized into the situation. Children need time to adjust to unfamiliar conditions in their life. Informing the children about the visit just a few moments will only lead to worsening the phobia. It is essential to give some time to children so that they can prepare themselves mentally before making a visit to the dentist. The parents can also talk to the kids about what bothers them and resolve their problems before visiting the dentist.
  • Informing the child about the role played by the dentist in their life is very important. Telling the child about the various ways in which a dentist can improve their life by making their teeth healthy and strong can do wonders. It is also necessary to tell them about the various dental procedures like panoramic x-ray, dental cleaning, etc. in a friendly and non-threatening way. Portraying the dentist as a kind doctor can help the children to trust the dentist and can also lead them to be happy and less worried when they are visiting the dentist.
  • The dentist should know about the phobia present in the mind of the child. Since the dentist cannot interpret it, the parents have to tell the dentist about the fear that their child has of visiting the dentist. The dentist has to tackle the situation once he/she is around the child. Understanding the point of view of the child and looking from the perspective of a child is very necessary. If the dentist fails to do so, the child may get more scared of the dentist and stops visiting the dentist. Therefore, a dentist must understand the point of view of the child and the parents for combating the dental phobia.
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  • A distraction plays a significant role at the clinic of the dentist. The best form of distraction for a child is a toy. A toy can help in diverting the mind of the child while the dentist performs the dental procedures. It can help the dentist to concentrate on the child without worrying about the reactions from the child. When a toy is in the hands of the child, the child will not bother about the procedures performed by the dentist. Parents should ensure the dentist about keeping a toy handy before visiting so that the procedures happen without any distractions.
  • Apart from distracting the child with a toy, the dentist needs to engage the child in conversations regarding the topics of interest for the child. If a dentist is very engaging, the child feels less worried and forms a bond with the dentist. The dentist has to be polite and keep his/her calm so that the child does not feel uncomfortable or scared. Dentists should engage the children by telling them stories, talking to them about their school and friends so that the child becomes distracted, and the mood of the child becomes happy.
  • Children love being praised. If a dentist starts praising the children for their behaviour and patience, the children get more relaxed and comfortable with the whole dental process. It is also vital for the dentist to talk to the child in a very gentle tone. The doctor should explain the procedures to the child in a simple language so that the child does not feel scared about them after listening to the names of the procedures.

These seven steps are very simple and effective. The doctors and parents should make sure that they follow these steps so that the child gradually loses the fear of visiting the dentist.

Reference links:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/dental-visits/dental-fear-of-the-pediatric-dentist-the-parents-role-0414

https://www.turnaroundanxiety.com/child-afraid-dentist-managing-dental-anxiety/

Credit

BIO:

Rebecca Smith is a writer for numerous health and fitness publications. She has been working with many challenged clients for some time now. She can be reached via email at .

This article was submitted exclusively to CrystalWind.ca by Rebecca Smith 
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