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Don’t Share Your Dental Anxiety with Your Kids

Jan 8, 2016 - 05:01 PM EST |  Posted under: General

Does the thought of seeing your dentist give you nightmares about being strapped to a giant chair while your mouth is tortured by sharp instruments and whiny drills? If so, you have dental anxiety, and you’re not alone. It affects millions of people all over the world. Baby boomers are especially prone to dental fear because they didn’t have the benefit of today’s advanced anesthetic options and painless dental techniques. You probably had more childhood cavities than your kids and grandkids did, so you had more opportunities to be frightened.

Breaking the Cycle of Dental Anxiety: Don’t Let Your Kids Learn this Behavior from You

A new study from Delta Dental Plans, which was released in April 2015 for National Anxiety Month, shows that parents who are afraid of the dentist can unintentionally transfer their negative feelings to their kids. Results demonstrated that the number of parents who reported dental fear matched the number of kids who had the same problem. It’s important to remain calm during dental visits, and present dental care in a positive light when discussing it with your children. If you conquer your own fear of the dentist, your kids won’t become terrified, and avoid getting proper dental care later in life. The following tips can help you beat dental phobia.

Strategies to Beat Your Adult Dental Phobia

  1. Bring something to distract yourself during treatment. A portable audio player or a smartphone can keep your mind occupied. Using headphones can help alleviate fear associated with dental drill noises.
  2. Schedule appointments when you don’t feel rushed. If you tend to feel nervous all day before a scheduled visit, opt for early morning appointments.
  3. Talk to your dentist about your anxiety, so he or she can take extra care to make you comfortable. Don’t be embarrassed. Having a fear of the dentist is very common.
  4. If your dentist isn’t sympathetic to your concerns, find one who specializes in treating patients with dental phobia. Ask your family and friends for recommendations.
  5. If your anxiety is severe, ask your dentist about pain control and sedation dentistry.
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