Most people see a visit to a dentist in Wilkes-Barre as something that needs to be done to maintain good overall health; as such, many people do not have a problem with visiting their dentist once every six months. However, some people have a crippling fear of dentists. According to the dental health experts at Colgate, avoiding the dentist due to anxiety or phobia is a common problem in the United States
Dental anxiety and phobia are extremely common. It has been estimated that 9% to 15% of Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of anxiety and fear. That’s about 30 million to 40 million people. In a survey by the British Dental Health Foundation, 36% of those who didn’t see a dentist regularly said that fear was the main reason.
People with dental phobia have a higher risk of gum disease and early tooth loss. Avoiding the dentist may have emotional costs as well. Discolored or damaged teeth can make people self-conscious and insecure. They may smile less or keep their mouths partly closed when they speak. Some people can become so embarrassed about how their teeth look that their personal and professional lives begin to suffer.
In many cases, a fear of the dentist manifests during childhood. Among the top contributors to dental anxiety and phobia include pain and the sound of the dental drill. Fortunately, there are several steps parents can take to prevent their child from developing a fear of the dentist:
A Head Start
Most fears develop because of the unknown. With that in mind, taking your child to a dentist early can help make your child feel at home in a dental office and helps establish trust between your child and the dentist, lowering the chances of anxiety from developing.
Watch Your Language
Take an encouraging tone when talking to your child about a trip to the dentist, but avoid using words like “drill” or “pain”, even if used in a positive way (“it won’t hurt”). Instead, try to emphasize the reason why your child needs to see the dentist in the first place: to get strong, healthy teeth.
If it is already too late and you or your child already suffer from a fear of the dentist, you may want to see an experienced sedation dentist in Wilkes-Barre, PA like Dr. James C. DeFinnis. The use of sedatives for dental procedures is a safe and effective way of stymying dental fears, allowing you to receive the proper dental care you deserve.