Parents Pass Fear of Dentists to their Children

Little Shop of Horrors dentist

Don’t let your children think your dentist is from Little Shop of Horrors

If you’re afraid of visiting the dentist, whether your fear is mild anxiety or full-blown dentophobia, chances are you’re passing this fear to your children.

A new survey conducted in the US found that parents who fear dentists or visiting the dentist typically have children who develop the same fear. These parents do not keep their fears and feelings about the dentist to themselves, and as a result, they pass on their anxieties to their children, which often prevents them from visiting a dentist regularly as they grow up.

The survey was conducted among parents of young children, aged from infant to 11 years old. The researchers found that almost 30 percent of the children of parents surveyed were afraid to visit the dentist. Among children who parents feared the dentist, the number increased to 40 percent. Of the children whose parents were not afraid of the dentist, only 24 percent said they had a fear of dentists.[..Read More]

Beating Dental Phobia

Most people do not enjoy going to the dentist, as it’s not entirely comfortable to lay back in a chair with your mouth open while a dentist or hygienist pokes at your teeth and gums with various instruments. However, some people actually have an extreme and irrational fear of going to a dentist or dealing with anything associated with a dentist. This fear is called dental phobia, and even though it is intense, it can (and should!) be beaten.

Signs of Dental Phobia

If you feel any of the following, you could have dental phobia.

  • Unpleasant memories of any or all of your visits to the dentist
  • You have a fear of the dentist embarrassing you over your dental hygiene.
  • You have canceled dental appointments due to being afraid.
  • You feel overly anxious in your dentist’s waiting room.
  • You feel panicked when seated in the dentist chair.
  • The sight and sounds of the dentist’s equipment terrifies you.
  • The thought of possibly receiving an injection scares you.

Causes of Dental Phobia

There could be several reasons why you have dental phobia. The most common ones include past unpleasant dental visits, painful experiences, the feeling of lack of control while in the dentist chair, and embarrassment about your dental health.

Overcoming Dental Phobia

All phobias can be overcome, but of course, it is never easy to do so. Before you can do so, you must first realize and accept that you do have dental phobia. From there, you can work with your dentist and the office staff to ease your dental experiences. Let them know that you have this fear, and your dentist and hygienist will do everything possible to give you a pleasant experience, such as not making unpleasant remarks about the state of your dental health. Also ask your dentist plenty of questions so you will know everything he or she is about to do during your visit. Knowing what is about to come can help relax you and reduce the amount of anxiety. Lastly, talk to your dentist about relaxation assistance, such as Valium prescriptions, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or anesthesia.

If you are looking for such an understanding dentist, please contact us and we will help you beat your dental phobia while improving your overall dental health.