Does Your Child Have Dental Anxiety?

The dentist is not on the “favourites” list of many children. Particularly when their favourites are ice-cream and lollies! Here at Whitehorse Dental, we have a heavy focus on prevention, so kids can be kids while also taking care of their teeth. We aim to achieve this by instilling a positive experience at the dentist. That way our littlest patients can build great dental habits starting from a young age.

However, encouraging young kids who require major treatments for cavities and tooth decay can be a tough ask. The sights, sounds and smells of a dentist can be unsettling, particularly if the child is too young to reason with words. It can be hard to sit still for so long, and the poking and prodding can feel disconcerting. Furthermore, very young children can cope with only very minimal discomfort. For these reasons, many kids develop dental anxiety and avoid going to the dentist. But avoiding the dentist is affecting children’s health. Shockingly, almost half of Australian kids are getting dental decay by the age of 12.

Do we really need to treat baby teeth?

Baby teeth will fall out anyway, so what’s the big concern?

Unfortunately, we see kids as young as 2-3 years old with decayed teeth. Many parents don’t realise that back baby teeth don’t naturally fall out until around age 11-12. Therefore, if left untreated, tooth decay in toddlers can wreak havoc for many years. As a result, untreated tooth decay can lead to infections, pain and damage to the developing adult tooth.

What’s most concerning? Dental decay is completely preventable. That’s why we’ve made it our number one priority to encourage kids that dental care is nothing to fear. We do this by making dentistry comfortable and easy for children. Even the most severe cases of cavities can be treated in a gentle way. In contrast, by making dentist trips painless, we hope to ease any dental anxiety your child might feel.

If your child is scared of the dentist, here’s 3 ways we can help:

1. No-drill dentistry

Children with anxiety may be eligible for our no-drill dental treatments. Treatments are quick, non-invasive and avoid any need to undergo general anaesthetic. The best thing is: kids don’t need to sit in the dentist’s chair for long periods of time and there are no needles or drilling. Sounds like a dream!

If your child needs a filling, book in to our dental clinic in Blackburn to see if no-drill dentistry is suitable. As the name suggests, it doesn’t involve a drill, and therefore, there are no frightening whirring sounds. Instead, a liquid treatment is applied to treat the tooth decay. With no need for drilling, it’s gentle for young children who may be afraid of the dentist.

2. Gentle dentists

At Whitehorse Dental, we deliver a caring and highly personalised service. In that, we treat each patient like we would treat our own family members. Our highly experienced dentists have a gentle demeanour and patience to make procedures as comfortable as possible. Being a family dental care practice, we’re experienced with children’s dentistry and use various techniques to ensure they always a positive visit.

3. Child-friendly spaces

Additionally, our treatment rooms have a TV installed on the ceiling to keep your child distracted in the dentist chair as we work. Kids just love this! Also, they have the option to choose their own music to play during their appointment. So much so, we’ve taken every care to make our practice a comfy and calm space for our littlest patients