How To Help Your Child Face Dental Anxiety

2022-03-09T17:40:31+00:00March 9th, 2022|Children's Health, Dental Anxiety|

Tips for Dental Anxiety

If you remember the anxiety you had in your youth on the way to your dental appointment, you’re not alone. 

A good percentage of kids deal with dental phobia, with studies showing somewhere around a quarter of children will experience that fear at some point.

Still, getting your kids to their dental check-ups is a necessity for maintaining great adolescent health. Thankfully, Adam Brown DDS understands both the importance of check-ups and the need for a comfortable experience for their younger patients. 

 

Tackling Dental Anxiety In Your Child

Addressing any deeply rooted fear your child has can feel like an uphill battle. Whether it’s convincing them that, no, there isn’t a monster under their bed, that the dark hallway won’t be a problem, or that the bug in their room won’t hurt them, you’ll find it hard to convey why there’s no reason for fear. Dental check-ups are not too different.

Here are some creative ways you can tackle that anxiety in preparation for your appointment:

 

Find A Smile That They Already Love

If their grandparent’s smile lights up a room, or maybe a beloved family friend’s grin, your child likely already can identify just how important a beautiful smile is.

Pointing out a role model’s smile is a way to show the importance of dental health in action, a move that can make that dental checkup seem really worth it.

 

Ease Them Into Meeting Their Dentist

Letting them know what they’re about to get into is a key way to ease your child’s concerns. 

You can do this in a few ways: Showing a video of the office space, pictures of the staff, or the more comprehensive option, scheduling an in-person introduction before their appointment. You can contact Adam Brown’s DDS to schedule an early tour prior to your appointment, as a way to ease them into their dental appointment. 

 

Arrive Early

While this may seem like the most simple of the options, it’s an extremely useful one. Getting there early can keep the stress of a rush from showing in your mood, preventing it from rubbing off on your child. That coupled with some time to adjust to the space can prove an effective tool in a stressful situation. 

 

Take An Active Role

As a parent, you can really influence your child’s attitude towards their upcoming dental appointment. Changing the way you talk about dentistry can have a noticeable impact. Avoiding language like pain, needles, blood, or other potentially alarming aspects of dental language can lessen their stress.

In the same vein, altering your language to be something accessible and understandable for your children can help dispel some of the mystery around their appointment. While medical terms may be accurate, the unknowns associated with them can also do more harm than good. 

Role-playing at home can also help mold expectations, a way to make the dental talk fun and involved, for both parent and child. Oftentimes the perception of what the dental appointment will be is the most troubling. Having a quick, pretend run-through is never a bad thing.

 

Reward Them

If your child has some concerns about their dental appointment, completing it can feel like a real achievement. It’s important to find ways to incentivize them to face their fears. A promise to visit their favorite restaurant, park, or another fun spot after the visit is one way to make the appointment seem more promising.

Adam Brown DDS understands the necessity of rewarding good dental habits. Hosting the “Cavity Free Club” as a way to let your kid pick out a fun toy after winning their battle against those pesky early cavities. 

 

Validate but Move On

Validating fears around a necessary medical appointment may seem counterintuitive, but it can help more than just your child’s anxiety.

Your child’s fears are valid and instead of shutting them down, you can take a moment to reassure them. The fear they’re facing is real. Saying something like, “I know a lot of kids are scared of that too,” can make them feel heard.

But after that reassurance, it’s important to move on. Dwelling on comforting against the scary thing can actually make it a bigger cause of concern. Instead, talk about how you’ll work to make them brave and ready to take their dental appointment on.

 

Let Your Dentist Know

Your dentist is the most important partner throughout the whole process. Letting them know about dental anxiety, medical reactions (like fainting or gagging) allows them to provide the most comforting experience possible.

Adam Brown DDS has the necessary knowledge, experience, and professionalism to address dental anxiety and show just how positive an appointment can be.

 

Appointment Times Are Key

Last but not least, the way you schedule your child’s appointment can help tremendously. 

Limiting the time between appointments can help bridge the gap in dental anxiety. Keeping your child out of a dentist’s office for a year or so can do some serious damage to the comfort you’ve built at a dentist’s office.

That time also allows for cavities and other dental problems to crop up, creating a more negative reason for an appointment, which can always create stress. 

 

Why Your Child’s Check-Ups Are Vital

While tackling dental anxiety is one battle, you may be wondering, why are check-ups so important?

Early checkups and a diligent dental routine can not only prevent problems in the immediate future but also create a foundation of healthy hygiene for the rest of their lives.

After all, tooth decay is the most common disease present in children across the United States, with the CDC reporting that more than 40% of children will experience some degree of tooth decay before kindergarten. 

The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics say that every child should visit a dentist by age 1, or as soon as their first tooth shows.

Baby teeth are extremely important, allowing for proper speech development, teeth spacing, and chewing. Having a professional examine their growth can ensure those processes are happening in a healthy and sustainable way.

There are a few other vital benefits too. 

This early head start can make the regular dental appointment more of a part of their life, addressing some of the root causes of dental anxiety. 

It gives ample opportunities to check for systemic health issues. Many diseases can be identified by conditions of the mouth, which can give you some comfort knowing your child is healthy after their checkup.

All of this also creates a smile that your child can have confidence in, a reward that truly extends a lifetime. 

 

Why Adam Brown DDS?

Adam Brown DDS is the perfect dental practice for your children’s dentistry needs. With a practice that looks at patients like family above all else, patients can come to Adam Brown DDS knowing they’ll receive not just a regular appointment but instead comprehensive generational dentistry.

While this blog can convey some of that, the testimonials and before-and-after photos from Adam Brown DDS patients will show the genuine quality you’ll receive. 

And for the potential new customers reading this, they’re offering a New Patient Special for $65, which includes:

– Comprehensive Exam

– Full Dental Assessment

– Oral Cancer Screening

– Perio Evaluation (Gums)

– Evaluation of Jaw & Chewing Muscles

– Recording of Dental History

– X-Ray

– Digital Photos

So if you’re near Monroe and looking for a dentist that can do it all, from conquering dental anxiety, taking care of your child’s needs, or giving you a quality dental experience, Adam Brown DDS is the place for you.

J. Dalton George

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Visiting the Dentist: Preparing Your Children for the New Normal

2020-09-09T14:55:26+00:00July 21st, 2020|Children's Health|

Going to the dentist can be scary for a child. Even a routine teeth cleaning can seem like a tooth extraction if a child is already apprehensive about having someone tooling around in his or her mouth. Add in the layers of personal protective equipment that are now required of those working in any business or essential service, and a simple trip to the dentist can seem even scarier. This is why it is important to let your children know that though things may look different, and maybe even a little strange, there is no need to be scared.

 

Getting used to the new norm of wearing masks and face shields will take time for us adults, but imagine being a child and observing such a drastic change in our world. Even with detailed explanations of what is happening, it is still off-putting for a child to communicate, or even get close to, someone whose face is partially covered. Getting your kid to sit still in the dentist’s chair just got harder, but there are ways to get your young ones to understand that everything is going to be okay.

 

Show, Don’t Tell

Trying to explain to your child what he’s about to walk into before a trip to the dentist will surely scare him, no matter how nicely you try and say it. Chances are, children will hear something like this: “Someone with a face mask and shield and gown is going to stick sharp, metal objects in your mouth,” even if you literally say something like this: “The dentist will have a face covering and gown, but he is not scary and he won’t hurt you.”

Instead of starting with an explanation, try to show what the experience will be like as much as possible. Put on your mask (and shield if you have one) and have your child sit in a chair like he or she would during a visit to the dentist. With your mask still on, mimic the movements of a teeth cleaning, maybe even get a toothbrush and brush your child’s teeth.

Try and make it fun, but also mention that this is what it will be like going to see the real dentist. Let your child ask questions and keep the conversation open—you know that little mind will be thinking about this for much longer.

 

There’s a Person Under That Mask

Before making the trip to see the dentist, pull up a picture of the entire dental team and show your child. Explain that even though their faces will be mostly covered while you are there, this is what they actually look like. Along with your child, take special note of the hair and eye color of each individual. Since these two aspects will be visible during the appointment, your child should be able to recognize who is hovering over him or her.

It is also important to encourage your child to talk to and ask questions of the staff. Anything that can be done to highlight the fact that it’s a real person beneath the personal protective equipment is helpful—and you can definitely count on the dental staff to engage in conversation as much as possible, so you are not completely alone in your quest to normalize a trip to the dentist.

At Adam Brown DDS, we understand that a trip to the dentist can be especially scary for young ones these days. If you find your child is struggling to understand why going to the dentist is so different than before, take the time to show what it will look like and explain that underneath those masks are nothing but big, bright smiles.

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Warning: Teething Jewelry May Pose Significant Risk

2020-07-16T16:58:35+00:00December 27th, 2018|Carolina's Dental Choice, Children's Health, Dental Trends, Oral Health|

You may have seen it advertised in women’s magazines or on parenting blogs, cute jewelry marketed as a way for moms to look stylish while caring for a teething tot. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning that the jewelry may present a serious choking hazard or strangulation risk.

what age and order do baby teeth come in

“Teething jewelry includes necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry that can be worn by either an adult or child, and is often marketed to relieve an infant’s teething pain,” states the FDA’s safety warning. “The beads of the jewelry may be made with various materials such as amber, wood, marble, or silicone. Jewelry marketed for teething pain is not the same as teething rings or teethers, which are made of hard plastic or rubber, and are not worn by an adult or child.”

The American Dental Association has joined the FDA in cautioning parents and caregivers that the jewelry has not been proven safe or effective. The FDA received a report of a 7-month-old child who choked on the beats of a wooden teething bracelet while under parental supervision. An 18-month-old child strangled to death when his amber teething necklace became wrapped around his neck during a nap.

“Teething jewelry may also be used by people with special needs, such as autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), to provide sensory stimulation or redirect chewing on clothes or body parts,” the FDA safety warning also states.

The jewelry poses similar risks of choking, strangulation, injury to the mouth, and infection for these people.

Instead of using teething jewelry to treat teething pain, parents and caregivers should adhere to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations. Teething typically begins between ages 4 to 7 months and may cause mild irritability, crying, a low-grade fever, excessive drooling, and a tendency to chew on things.

  • Try gently rubbing or massaging the gums with one of your fingers, a small cool spoon, or a moist gauze pad
  • Teething rings are helpful, too, but they should be made of firm rubber. Teethers that are to be frozen tend to get too hard and can cause more harm than good. Never allow an infant to use a teether that is frozen solid. Either simply chill them in the refrigerator or allow them to thaw to the point you can easily squeeze the contents around. Be warned that liquid-filled rings or other objects may crack and leak.
  • Pain relievers and topical medications applied to the gums are not necessary or useful since they wash out of a baby’s mouth within minutes.
  • Stay away from teething tablets that contain the plant poison belladonna and gels with benzocaine. Belladonna and benzocaine are marketed to numb your child’s pain, but the FDA has issued warnings against both due to potential side effects.
  • If your child seems particularly miserable or has a fever higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 degrees Celsius), it’s most likely not a result of teething pain. Consult your pediatrician.
  • When your child’s baby teeth have begun to come in, gently brush them with a soft child’s toothbrush. To prevent cavities, never let your baby fall asleep with a bottle, either at nap time or at night. By avoiding this situation, you’ll keep milk from pooling around the teeth and creating a breeding ground for decay.

Baby teeth are important to your child’s health because they form the foundation for chewing, speaking, and smiling. If a baby tooth is lost too early, permanent teeth can drift into the empty space, making it harder for other adult teeth to erupt. This process contributes to crooked and crowded teeth in later years.

Your child’s first dental visit should come after their first baby tooth has emerged but before their first birthday.

 

 

If you have questions about your child’s oral health, contact Carolina’s Dental Choice so that we can help you address any concerns. Visit us at carolinasdentalchoice.com to schedule an appointment or call us at 704.289.9519.

 

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