Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dentist … Got Dental Fears? Don’t Let Them Keep You Or Your Children From the Dentist!

Do you have fear of going to the dentist? It may rub off and impact how your kids feel about the dentist, too. Many adults and children despise the dental chair and have severe anxiety when faced with dental visits. Research suggests that this fear may be passed down from elders or adults who express fear of dentists and perhaps other emotional anxieties.

The recent research carried out at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that children with oral care management issues not only suffered more frequently from dental fears which correlated to parents with a similar approach to dental care. Many of the youngsters typically lived in financially struggling families.

The American Dental Association suggests that parents teach their children the importance of daily oral health care at early ages, including the need for bi- annual cleanings and dental checkups. Anyone who avoids the dentist may develop cavities, tooth decay and gum disease, which will only get worse and cause more dental issues, if not treated by a dentist.

In addition, the article suggested, “parents who are averse to the dentist's office may need to be better aware of how their own dental fears can negatively impact the long-term oral health of their children.”

Similarly, another story reveals how many kids fear going to the dentist, especially if they have a cavity, because of the intimidating sound of the drill. This can be a problem if the anxiety keeps a child in need of treatment from the dentist’s chair. Cavities do not heal, they just get worse, so to get to the root of the problem, before the decay leads to a root canal, the fears need to be eradicated, early on.

One way to help kids overcome the fear and eliminate aversions is to have them listen to music on their iPod or MP3 or you can download story on a mobile music device to cancel out the noise. In addition, “British researchers have just finished development of a device that eliminates the drill’s irritating sound. Plugged in like headphones into a MP3 player, the gadget produces inverted waves to target, then cancel out the unwanted sounds. If the drill sound’s frequency and amplitude change, the device removes it using adaptive filtering.”

According to the American Dental Association, children lost over 51 million hours of school due to dental illnesses in 2009. Routine dentist visits are essential for oral health and to avoid bigger issues and bills and more absences. Dentists monitor the development and growth of young teeth, create treatment plans, and diagnose and treat gum disease and cavities.