Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety, the fear of visiting a dentist, has a debilitating effect on oral health. Adults with dental anxiety tend to have bad teeth and unhealthy gums. Dental anxiety in kids is easier to manage, and in fact, it’s best dealt with at that age, so your children learn the benefits of healthy teeth at a young age. Pediatric dentists understand how to deal with dental anxiety in kids. So call Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry to schedule your kids’ first visit.

What Is Dental Anxiety?

Dental anxiety is a psychological condition that causes stress, fear and anxiety in a dental setting. The trigger for most children is the fear of pain associated with mental images of needles, drills and scraping noises. To alleviate dental anxiety in kids, parents must make sure that the chosen dental practice offers a child-friendly environment.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry say that a child’s first visit to a dentist should be by age two at the latest. The consensus is that start dental check-ups immediately after the first baby tooth shows up. Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry welcomes babies and children in the Woodbridge, New Jersey area, as well as as in Manhattan. The practice is fully equipped for emergency and urgent care and offers:

Why Is Dental Anxiety Linked to Bad Teeth?

If you delay starting regular dental check-ups with your children when they’re small, you may inadvertently discourage them from realizing the value of dental health maintenance. Consider the statistics just in the United States:

  • It’s estimated that two in five adults don’t visit a dentist on a regular basis.
  • About a third of these adults avoid it due to dental anxiety.
  • Nearly half of all Americans don’t brush their teeth twice a day, which is known to decrease periodontal diseases.

Without oral hygiene check-ups every six months, the possibility of developing serious dental health issues like bad teeth skyrockets. Dental anxiety often starts in children, and it can lead to a self-fulfilling fear, as serious problems require more invasive treatments, like a root canal treatment.

What Do Dentists Advise to Prevent Dental Anxiety in Kids?

The top pediatric dentists at Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry recommend that parents take their children to visit a dentist early, as young as two years old. These visits not only may save your child’s teeth, but also acclimate your kids to regular dental check-ups. When you choose a kid-friendly practice like Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, the experience is far from frightening.

With regular dentist appointments, oral health issues are caught early and treatments are relatively painless. If necessary, a sedative is used to relax a child. Eventually, your children learn what to expect from a dentist during such procedures as:

Dental sealants for kids

Crowns, when necessary

Braces or Invisalign to correct alignment issues like an overbite or underbite

How Can I Deal with Dental Anxiety in My Kids?

Young children are more susceptible to plaque and tartar, both of which cause dental caries. In fact, 42 percent of children in this country complain of toothaches and need restorative treatments. But you can minimize the need for extensive treatments like tooth extractions by introducing your kids to preventative oral health habits.

Routine check-ups diminish dental anxiety by fostering familiarity with your pediatric dentist. These dentists know how to deal with dental anxiety in kids. They engage your children and keep them involved, which relieves stress symptoms like trembling and sweating. Other ways you can short-circuit dental anxiety issues include:

  • Talk to your child, explaining why everyone goes to the dentist regularly and how the treatments are easy if you take good care of your teeth.
  • Let your children accompany you to a dentist visit so they see first-hand what happens.
  • Introduce your pediatric dentist to your child at a young age, so they get to know the office and the staff.
  • Try role playing, where your child becomes the dentist to understand the process.
  • Use relaxation techniques, such as holding hands with your child during the entire procedure at the dentist’s office.

Should I Worry about Dental Anxiety in My Children?

At Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, children are welcomed to explore, ask questions and in general feel at ease with the dentist before any procedure, including a simple check-up. Parents are encouraged to bring along any favorite toys or a blanket that the child uses to feel safe and secure. These pediatric dentists also urge parents not to wait to arrange an appointment. The best first visit is when nothing’s wrong with your child’s teeth.

Dental anxiety in your small children becomes dental anxiety in adults if it’s not stopped. Poor dental hygiene and a failure to get regular check-ups makes oral health issues more likely, especially as your children age. Contact Tiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry today to visit their kid-friendly environment. Choose the closest office in Harlem or the Lower East Side in Manhattan or in Woodbridge, New Jersey.

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