Why are Most Kids Afraid to Go to the Dentist?

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Is your child scared to go to the dentist? It’s not just kids; some adults tend to avoid dental appointments, too. Dental phobia is a fear that’s common among people of all ages. About nine to 15 percent of Americans skip dental visits out of fear and anxiety.

But what — or who — is to blame for this fear?

The Thought of a Dental Visit is Terrifying

A 2015 study suggests that parents may be the reason kids are afraid to go to the dentist. About 48 percent of parents are terrified to visit the dentist. Surprisingly, some 47 percent of kids share the same sentiment.

So what do they fear?

The fear of pain during dental appointments is the main reason for dental phobia. Dentists, however, point out that most dental procedures aren’t even painful.

Some people, on the other hand, try their best to avoid dental checkups because they don’t like the dentist. At least 17 percent of people admitted that their dislike makes them skip a visit to the clinic.

Others are scared of additional dental work. There may be a particular activity, object, or situation that some individuals dread. Some are afraid to even set foot in a clinic because of a bad experience.

Unfortunately, putting off routine care for a long time can result in gum infections and broken teeth. Don’t let your kids miss out on taking care of their oral health.

Parents Can Help Their Kids Overcome the Fear

Some parents may have passed on their dental phobia — or dental anxiety — to their children, but only they can help their kids overcome this fear. After all, regular visits to the dentist are necessary to keep their teeth healthy. So how do you do it?

For starters, find the right Millcreek pediatric dentist. A dentist who has worked with kids will know how to make a child comfortable.

dentist cleaning kid's teeth


Next, why not try a practice run of dental visits? You can do pretend dental checkups during child’s play. The role-play can even make the experience fun and make the child feel comfortable during the real visit.

Oral health should start at a young age. The truth is that the earlier a child goes to the dentist, the better. Every parent should bring their kid to the dental clinic at age one. Or maybe even earlier, as soon as the first tooth is visible.

Children are bound to throw a fit at some point in time. The chances, however, are higher during visits to the dentist. Gather enough patience and understanding and prepare for some crying, whining, and wiggling.

The least that kids will do is try their best to avoid having to sit in the dentist’s chair. Stay calm even when your child decides to act out. It’s a stressful time for both of you. But your kid needs your comfort and reassurance.

Also, don’t use bribery to get them to the clinic. Using a special treat may not do the trick. Encouragement is the tool that can help your child better understand the purpose of going to the dentist.

Let your child become more accustomed to the chair, the treatments, and the environment in the clinic. Don’t let dental phobia and dental anxiety get in the way of maintaining your kid’s oral health.

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