Kids are unique little people. As a parent, I have come to realise that they have their own thoughts, feelings and personalities. They come into the office with their own opinions, ideas, concerns and experiences. Their experience in the office is the most important aspect of our care for them…not filling cavities. From my observations of adults, virtually all dental anxiety comes from an actual or perceived loss of control in a dental office. Somewhere, sometime a dentist yelled at them, made them feel insecure or insignificant, actually hurt them, forced them to do something when they weren’t ready, etc. For kids, a dental office must be a safe place…not just physically, but psychologically.
Most dental fear for kids is fear of the unknown. It is a new experience for them. I feel they must have control over their environment. Obviously within limits and, yes, kids do test those limits, but first, they must have confidence they have some control over the situation. Then they can have self-control. I want to do things with kids, not to them (a very big difference). Some days they may come into the office tired. Maybe they were teased at school (kids can have bad days too!). They simply cannot cope that day. I may choose to delay treatment until another day.
It is amazing how often a child who is totally uncooperative at first opens up and is very cooperative another time after they recognise the trust and love. The experiences in our office are the most valuable part of our care for your children. Positive experience fosters a positive attitude towards preventive health care. The attitude that they are worth taking care of…so they are better able to grow up taking good care of themselves.