Fear of the dentist is a common problem in pediatric dentistry. Dentists who specialize in pediatric care frequently encounter children who are not only afraid of their treatment, but also of them.
Several factors contribute to a child’s fear of dental experience. Studies say that if a parent or both parents are afraid of the dentist, they can naturally transfer their fear to the child. However, new-albany.kidzsmilesdentistry.com says that a child’s fear of dental care may be from the general outlook towards anxiety and other personal experiences.
Factors that Lead to Dental Fear
When a child’s dental fear is not from genetics, many factors that have led to his or her distress are considered. According to the British Dental Journal, there are five reasons children are afraid of the dentist, including the following.
Fear of Pain and Anticipation. When children do not know what to expect, they become fearful of what is about to happen, even if they are with their parents. On the other hand, fear of pain occurs when a child has experienced pain and the dentist ignores the complaint.
Fear of Betrayal. Not all children know how to trust, especially when they have experienced abuse or bad behavior in the past. It is also possible that children learn to distrust dental and medical personnel even before meeting them.
Fear of Loss of Control. Children are afraid of control, especially when it’s from someone they are not familiar with. However, children have an innate sense of social and personal control, which means that they know when to comply and when to disobey.
Fear of the Unknown. Dental visits are threatening to children, even if their parents assure them of the situation. The only way to prevent this is by providing accurate information and by demonstrating the case before a dental appointment.
Fear of Intrusion. A dental procedure is like another way of intrusion for children. Children don’t receive extensive dental care on a regular, which is why they feel like they are being meddled during a treatment.
As children grow up, they forget about their fear of the dentist and the experiences that come with it. However, it is important that parents look after their children before, during and after a dental treatment to make sure that they do not acquire trauma from the procedure.