Dental phobia is a common problem which causes both children and adults to avoid regular dental check-ups. There are tons of reasons why children develop a fear of dentists. The question is – are parents at all to blame? Is it possible that you could be making the dental phobia worse for your child? Here's what every parent should know.
Overlooking the Phobia
You may think that downplaying dental phobia or anxiety is the best option. The problem is a child doesn't have the chance to work through the reason for the fear or doesn't get the help needed to see that there is nothing to be scared about at the dentist.
Rather than overlooking it, sit down and discuss the reason for the fear. Is it the sound? Maybe the smells or the unknown scare your child. You can then discuss why there is no need to be scared and how the dentist helps.
Pushing Your Own Fear on Them
Children will pick up your own fears and they can develop the same ones over time. If you have a fear of the dentist, it is possible that you're pushing that fear on them.
The best thing to do is show that facing fear is possible and will help. Don't complain when you have your own checkups and take your children with you so they can see you facing the fear. Let them see what the dentist does, helping to get over the fear of the unknown mentioned above.
Focusing on the Negatives Too Much
Dentist phobia may not be something your children suffer from, but it may be dental phobia in general. They may be scared that their teeth are going to fall out and they will be left with an unsightly smile.
You may have pushed this fear accidentally, while trying to explain how important dental visits are. While you want to focus on how dentists help, you need to avoid focusing on too many negatives. Focus on positives, like a beautiful smile rather than teeth falling out.
Unfortunately, your children feed off of everything you say or do. While parents definitely don't intend for it to happen, it is possible for you to make your child's dental phobia worse. The key is to help your child work past the fear by understanding what he/she is afraid of. Most importantly, seeing an adult who is afraid of the dentist or talks badly about going is only going to make things worse for your child. Contact a business that specializes in Dentistry for Children for more information.