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24541 Pacific Park Drive, Suite #104
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

Why Are People Afraid of The Dentist?

Young Child with Dental Anxiety

For reasons ranging from reasonable to urban myth, many children have fears of sitting in a dentist’s chair. In many cases, it’s as simple as a fear of the unknown. In others, it can be the result of a bad experience or perpetuated myths about the pain involved with dental care. Regardless of the reason, dental anxiety can make it difficult for people of all ages to get the dental care they need throughout their lives. It’s for this reason that OC Kids Dental has taken special care to provide a safe and welcoming environment for our patients.

How We Help Children That Are Afraid Of The Dentist

Creating good dental experiences early on helps lay the groundwork for a comfortable relationship with dental care for years to come. Dental anxiety, also known as general dental phobia, is more common than you might expect. Nearly 10% of all Americans avoid anything to do with going to the dentist out of fear of the dentist. For many, this isn’t simple anxiety or nervousness but an actual paralyzing fear of anything involved with receiving dental care. Just mentioning going to the dentist can result in a full-on panic attack in some people.

Understanding the fears of our young patients helped us take steps to address them. Below are five common foci of dental phobia:

  • Pain – A fear of pain is the most prominent form of dental phobia. This can result from previously painful experiences and is aggravated by the anticipation of future pain. Speaking to your children about these fears, with our team’s support, can help alleviate these concerns and set your child at ease.
  • Fear Of Losing Control – Getting into the dental chair can feel like relinquishing any control over what happens to you next. Overcoming this is achieved by ensuring that we give our young patients a sense of agency in their care. We make sure they’re comfortable, tell them what we’d like to do next, get their permission to proceed, and ensure they feel in control of their care.
  • Unpleasant History With Dental Care – As we mentioned in the section on pain, these experiences can stay with you. It doesn’t have to be something experienced by the patient. Bad experiences in the family can filter down to the perception children have about their care. Even those shared by schoolmates can cause this kind of fear. As with the other factors on this list, it is best addressed by open and honest communication with our patients.
  • Sensory Onslaught – There are so many odd tools that produce strange sensations in the dental office. The high-pitched whine of dental drills, the strange sensation of a scaling tool scraping against the tooth, and uncomfortable gel trays, for instance. Dental lasers help to remove the whine of the rotary dental tool. We also take other steps to produce a relaxing and inviting environment.

Come See OC Kids Dental For An Anxiety-Free Experience

If you have a child that’s afraid of the dentist, bring them to see the team at OC Kids Dental! We’ll introduce them to dental care aimed at making kids smile. We’ll talk to them about their fears, empower them with decisions, and provide an environment that’s soothing and inviting. We look forward to hearing from you!

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