Childhood Fears: 4 Ways to Help Your Child Overcome Fear of the Dentist

Childhood Fears 4 Ways to Help Your Child Overcome Fear of the Dentist

Guest Blogger, Kara Masterson

Many children are scared of the dentist. It is a common issue that you should try to help your kid overcome. The following are four tips that might help you and your children.

Starts with You

One of the first things you have to remember is that dental anxiety affects more than just kids. Children are really good at picking up any anxiety coming from parents, so it is vital that you deal with your own anxiety first. You can talk to your dentist beforehand, or have your child visit the dentist with a family member who does not fear the dentist to avoid passing on this fear to your kid.

A Peaceful Scent

Some people may not love the scent of lavender, but it could work wonders for your child. It seems that the natural scent of lavender induces a relaxing feeling within the mind. This has been shown to be powerful enough to reduce some of the symptoms associated with dental anxiety. You can make your own lavender fragrance using an essential oil, or purchase one through an online vendor. Make sure that it is natural lavender to ensure these effects.

Meet and Greet

Next thing you want to try is to have your child meet your dentist ahead of time. Talk to your dentist beforehand to make sure that he or she is aware of your child’s anxiety. A dentist like A-Dental Center or someone similar will likely go over some of the procedures and help your child become familiar with the dentist’s office. One of the reasons some children feel anxious is because they are in unfamiliar territory, which is why this type of meeting is helpful at times.

Bring a Distraction

Sometimes, the best way to deal with the particular problem is to bring a distraction, or find a way to help your child distract him or herself during the visit. You can do this by bringing your child’s favorite toy along or giving your kid a smart device to entertain him or herself. You can also try to train your child to imagine a happy place, which should help him or her deal with scary things a little better.

Hopefully, some of these tips help your kid overcome his or her fear. Keep in mind that fears are not always cured but rather dealt with, so do not expect miracles. Make sure to work with your dentist because he or she will likely know a thing or two about dental anxiety.

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Dental Checkup

What is the Best Age For a Child to See an Orthodontist?

What is the Best Age For a Child to See an Orthodontist?.jpeg

Guest Blogger, Dr. Updike from Updike Orthodontics

While the most common image of someone in braces is a teenager, children should actually see an orthodontist much earlier than their teen years.

When you picture someone in an orthodontist’s chair, do you picture a teenager, getting his or her braces adjusted? While the image of a teenager with a mouth full of metal is commonplace, children should actually visit an orthodontist for the first time right around the seventh birthday.

“The American Association of Orthodontists recommends seven as the ideal time for children to have their first consultation with an orthodontist,” says Irvine orthodontist Dr. Sophia Updike. “Parents might think this seems young, but it’s actually the ideal time for us to observe what is currently happening in the mouth, and what will happen as the child grows. Then, we can determine if any interventive treatment is needed, and begin at precisely the correct time to have the most impact.”

Orthodontists work to ensure that your child’s smile is not just beautifully straight, but will function properly, too. The goal of orthodontic treatment is to ensure teeth are straight and jaws are properly aligned, and the earlier an orthodontist can begin to observe what is happening in your child’s mouth, the better.

“The baby teeth lay the groundwork for the permanent teeth,” says Dr. Updike. “Seven is the ideal time for us to get a picture of what is happening in your child’s mouth. We can make sure the baby teeth are falling out the way they should, and check to be sure there is adequate room for the permanent teeth to erupt properly.”

But more than that, an orthodontist can determine if there are any underlying issues that could pose a potential problem. The teeth may look straight to you, but there may be problems that could worsen as the child gets older. Deep bites, open bites, crossbites, crowding and spacing issues and other problems can be more easily corrected while the child’s jaw is still growing.

By the time your child turns seven, he or she will most likely have enough of a mix between permanent and baby teeth to evaluate and ensure everything is developing as it should. Parents should not wait until all permanent teeth have erupted to schedule the first orthodontic consultation. There are also some habits and other indicators that parents should be on the lookout for, including:

  • Baby teeth fall out too early or too late
  • Problems chewing or biting
  • Sucks thumb or uses pacifier for extended time period
  • Problems speaking
  • Grinds or clenches teeth
  • Teeth look crowded or misplaced

If you are from Irvine, Tustin, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Orange County, Lake Forest, CA areas and your child is seven or older and has not had a consultation with an orthodontist yet, call Updike Orthodontics today at 949-870-9713. Dr. Updike works with patients of all ages and can help parents determine the right time to begin treatment to ensure a beautiful, healthy smile that will last a lifetime.

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7 Tips to Help Your Child at the Dentist


7 Tips to Help Your Child at the Dentist

Going to the dentist can be overwhelming with feelings of fear and anxiety for both parents and children. Here are some helpful tips to help prepare your child for a dental exam so they know what to expect and can feel more in control.

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