Did you know that around 36% of the entire population has a fear of the dentist? With this kind of anxiety, it’s easy to ignore going to the dentist even when it’s necessary. A person develops all kinds of dental problems because they avoid going to the dentist at all costs.
If your child is afraid of the dentist, it’s important to help them move past this fear as soon as possible. That’s why we’ve put together this guide that’ll give you all the tools you need to help your child with their fear.
Check it out down below!
Sometimes we create dental anxiety in our children without even realizing it. It all comes down to the types of words we use when we’re explaining the dentist to a child.
You’ll want to avoid words that make your child’s imagination run wild. For example, mentioning the word ‘pain’ gives the wrong impression and incites fear.
Instead, focus on the positive side of a dentist visit and use words to match. It makes a big difference in the way your child views the dentist as a whole.
With positivity in mind, it’s a good idea to explain what your child can expect to happen during the visit. The unknown makes fear even stronger. That’s why you should tell your child what’s going to happen regardless if they’re going for a dental checkup or a more in-depth procedure.
Remember to avoid using frightening words, however. It’s better to give your child more of an idea of what to expect rather than any specific details that sound scary.
Creating a game where your child gets to explore the dental world is a great way to help offset any fears. Take turns playing both the dentist and the patient so that your child gets the whole experience.
This is a helpful exercise that turns a frightening situation into a neat game. It puts a fun spin on the idea of a dentist visit which carries over to future visits with a real dentist.
Plus, your child might even be excited to meet a real dentist after playing as one!
How long has it been since you’ve gone to the dentist? If you want to help your child learn to overcome their fear, you’ll need to set a good example.
Go to the dentist for frequent checkups and make sure to inform your child when you go. They’ll see that it’s a normal occurrence. They’ll see that you’re not scared of the dentist so they don’t need to be afraid either.
Your child always watches what you do, so make sure you show them the kind of behavior you hope they’ll replicate.
Another great way to help your child feel more comfortable around dentists is to read about them in children’s books. There are many types of books about dentists that have this goal in mind.
Read a couple of these during storytime instead of your regular book choices. This helps your child understand the idea of the dentist without any other fears getting in the way.
Taking the time to read these kinds of books starts your child on the journey of understanding the importance of good oral health.
Going into a new building full of strangers is never a great way to start a dental checkup. It’s not only overwhelming but it also amplifies any fears before the procedure even begins.
That’s why it’s a great idea to take your child to the dentist’s office before the appointment. Meet as many people on the staff as possible. Call ahead of time and schedule a short meeting with your child’s dentist so that they can get to know one another.
This activity creates a bond between your child and the people who’ll be taking care of their teeth for years to come. Your child knows everything will be okay because they recognize the dentist and view them as a friend instead of a stranger.
If your child has a favorite toy, bring it with them during the visit. You’ll want to make sure that the toy is not too big or loud or else it might get in the way of the dentist. When in doubt, contact the office beforehand and ask if it’s okay.
Having a familiar presence in the room during the dental procedure helps your child feel comfortable. It gives them something else to think about as the dentist works.
If a toy doesn’t do the trick, try bringing a pair of earbuds and some music. A tablet with their favorite cartoon could also be a great way to keep your child calm during the visit.
When your child works hard to be brave, it’s good to reward that behavior. Take them out to the park or a movie after the visit. Let them know that they did good and that you’re proud of them.
It’s important that you don’t inform your child that you plan to reward them after the dentist visit. If they know about it beforehand, it’ll emphasize the wrong part of the situation. They won’t work towards overcoming their fear, they’ll only work towards getting a treat.
By rewarding your child with encouragement and a bit of fun, they’ll associate these good feelings with the dentist. They’ll have a much easier time going to the dentist again in the future!
Overcoming fear is never a quick and easy endeavor, but by using this guide, you’re building a good foundation. You’re giving your child all of the right tools they need to no longer be afraid of the dentist.
Oral health is so important to your child’s wellbeing, so don’t delay in putting this guide into action. Getting past their fear at a young age is a gift that’ll keep on giving throughout their entire life!
Don’t forget to check out our services to see how we can help you and your child with all your dental care needs!
Dr. Holly Austgen, DDS of Southeast Family Dental in Indianapolis, Indiana reveals what that weird blue light is that your dentist uses, how it works and if there are any risks to your teeth and gums when using it. https://youtu.be/gddhQso_frs [https://youtu.be/gddhQso_frs] If you can not see the embedded video above please use the following link: What is that weird blue light my dentist uses? [https://youtu.be/gddhQso_frs] Transcript Hi everyone. My name is Dr. Austgen from Southeast Family Dental and today I’m going to talk to you about a question we often get here at the office, and that is, what is the blue light that we use and is it dangerous? So what is it? That blue light is a dental curing light. It’s basically a piece of dental equipment that we use to harden or cure our resin or basically, tooth-colored filling materials, as well as some other materials that we use such as cements and bonding agents that we use to restore your teeth back to health. So how does this light work? When fillings are placed in the teeth, they are very soft so that they can be molded to the correct shape and anatomy. When the dentist or the assistant who is placing the filling is happy with the shape and the contour, they will then set the material to make it hard. That’s where the blue light comes in. We press the light, the blue light shines on it, and it will make the material hard as rock, strong enough for you to be able to chew on as soon as you leave. Okay, so here’s the big question. What about the blue light? Everyone wants to know what it is. So I’ll tell you what it’s not. It is not a UV light and it is not a laser. What it is, is a very strong blue light and it’s blue because it falls into the range of the wavelengths under the blue light spectrum. So like I said, it’s not a laser and it’s not a UV light. So it’s not going to cause any damage to your teeth or your gums. The only danger is if you look at the light for too long. It’s kind of similar to looking at the sun for too long. Dentists and assistants who place fillings are the most at risk. That’s why there is an orange filter on the light to protect our eyes. So no need to be concerned about the blue light or the curing light. It’s been a significant advancement in dentistry for us and allows us to place fillings that are hard, exactly the way we want them to be so you’re ready to use your tooth just like you wanted when you leave. Thanks for listening and remember, at Southeast Family Dental, we love to make you smile.
Do you suffer from fears and anxiety when going to the dentist? Or, maybe a trip to the dentist is a scary event for your child, which also stresses you out? Dental fears, anxiety and phobia are extremely common. It’s estimated that between 5% and 8% of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to fears. Some people (perhaps up to 20%) experience so much anxiety that they’ll only go to the dentist when it’s absolutely necessary. People experience dental anxiety and fears for various reasons, including: * Previous bad experiences at the dentist’s office. * Fear of pain. * Feeling helpless or not in control of the situation. * Embarrassment about the state of their teeth and gums. Being unfamiliar with the instruments, noises and smells in the dental office. This is especially true for young children. At Southeast Family Dental, we understand how the dentist’s office can cause anxiety and fears. But calming fears isn’t just for kids, some adults need help calming their anxiety at the dentist, too. So a dentist located in Northbrook, IL, has found an ingenious way to do just that. He brings a trained comfort dog into his office. The golden retriever soothes nervous kids and adults alike by comforting them during dental exams. In fact, the golden retriever has a sixth sense when it comes to figuring out exactly who needs him the most. A comfort dog really is an excellent idea to calm dental fears, because animals tend to have a soothing effect on people. Other ideas that dentists may use to calm your fears, include: * Providing you with an iPad and headphones, so you can listen to relaxing music or watch a TV program to distract you. * Offering you a blanket for warmth, comfort and the feeling of security. * Giving you nitrous oxide or other sedatives to help you feel relaxed during dental exams or procedures. If you suffer from dental anxiety and fears, talk to our team at Southeast Family Dental. We can talk to you about what to expect during your appointment and help you find ways to ease your fears. We want to make sure your dental experience is as calm, comfortable and stress-free as possible for you.
Stress is a normal part of life. Everyone experiences it at some point. It can cause you to feel anxious, sad, or stressed about a situation. While the occasional feeling of stress is normal, having feelings of stress all the time can take a toll on your health. IMPACT OF STRESS ON ORAL HEALTH Stress can have a major impact on your health, and it can have a similarly major impact on your oral health. Most people have probably experienced an ulcer at some point in their life, and an ulcer is just one example of the way chronic stress can negatively impact your oral and overall health. * When your body is stressed, it releases cortisol, which is a hormone that increases your blood glucose levels. This increase in blood sugar can lead to inflammation, which can trigger the body's immune response to fight off infection or injury. However, when the immune system is overstimulated, it can lead to an increase in gum disease. * Not only can stress increase the chances of developing gum disease, but it can also increase your risk for more serious diseases, such as cancer. This is because your immune system becomes weakened by stress, and compromised health can make it harder for your immune system to fight disease effectively. * Additionally, stress can cause bruxism – an abnormal clenching of the jaw and grinding of teeth while sleeping. This can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD causes pain in your jaw that can be chronic. And, since it does affect your smile, it's considered part of your oral health. If you are suffering from this, we may be able to help by finding a custom oral appliance you can wear at night to protect your teeth from damage. We can also recommend other ways to cope with stress and advise you on steps you can take to improve your oral health. WAYS TO MINIMIZE STRESS Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize the effects of stress on your body. Regular exercise is one of the best options, as it can help keep your body healthy, strong, and balanced. You should also try to stick to a healthy diet, limit alcohol consumption, drink plenty of water during the day, and try to get enough sleep each night. When you're under a lot of stress, you should make sure to keep up with your regular checkup and cleaning appointments. We can work with you to identify problem areas in your smile and take steps to help you prevent symptoms from getting worse over time. If you're overdue for your annual exam and cleaning, then it's time to give us a call to schedule your next appointment. We can be reached at (317) 359-8000. Our dentist's office is located in Indianapolis, IN, and we look forward to helping you keep your smile healthy for many years to come!
Southeast Family Dental is pleased to announce that Dr. Mark Bohnert and Dr. Laura Geiger have been selected by a vote of their peers to be Top Dentists, www.usatopdentists.com. and featured in the “Best of Indy” December issue of of Indianapolis Monthly. Indianapolis Monthly December 2018Dr. Bohnert is a 10-year winner and Dr. Geiger is a 3-year winner of the Top Dentist award. This honor is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which dentists and specialists throughout Indiana cast votes on the abilities of other dentists and specialists. Inclusion in Top Dentists is considered a singular honor. Dr. Laura Geiger responded to the announcement. “We are thrilled to have been voted Top Dentists. This honor shows us that we are meeting our mission to change the way you feel about going to the dentist, while giving you more reasons to smile.”
Drinking water is essential to your health. Water helps to transport nutrients in your body, regulates your body temperature, lubricates your joints, helps build muscle, digests food and improves your skin complexion. And, yes, water really is healthy for your teeth, especially if it’s fluoridated. Some reasons why water is beneficial to your teeth include: * Tap water may contain fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that naturally occurs in almost all water supplies. Also fluoride can be added to a town’s water supply. Fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay. According to the American Dental Association, it has been shown to reduce the rate of cavities by as much as 60%. However, it’s important to note that not all bottled waters contain fluoride. * Water naturally rinses your teeth and keep them clean. When you drink water, especially after eating, it helps wash away food particles and acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. Therefore, if you can’t brush your teeth while you’re out, drink a glass of water and swish the water around in your mouth to help clean your teeth until you can get home and brush. * Drinking water helps to decrease the pH level in your mouth. The neutral pH level in your mouth is 7.0. When you eat or drink acidic foods and beverages, the pH level can drop below 5.0. Too much acid can cause bad bacteria to grow, leading to tooth decay, which occurs when the pH level in your mouth is 5.5 or lower. But drinking water can help neutralize the effects of acid in your mouth. * Water helps alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth. When your salivary glands don’t make enough saliva in your mouth, dry mouth can occur. You need an adequate supply of saliva to neutralize the acids produced by bacteria and to wash away food particles. Otherwise, a mouth that’s too dry can increase your risk of developing tooth decay. Drink water as part of your daily dental health routine As you see, drinking water really is healthy for your teeth. So make drinking water a regular part of your daily dental health routine, in addition to brushing and flossing. But be careful of some seltzer waters. Some are advertised as water, but contain additional sweeteners that make them just as harmful as soda. Also, they are more acidic than flat water so should be limited due to their ability to erode teeth. Also, remember to schedule your biannual dental checkups with Southeast Family Dental by calling us at (317) 359-8000.