Gentle Dental of West Chester
125 Turner Lane, West Chester, PA 19380

Pediatric Dental Phobia- How Parents Can Help

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Maintaining a child’s healthy teeth and gums requires excellent oral hygiene and regular professional dental care, but when a routine dental visit brings tantrums and tears, parents and dentists are faced with a challenge. Dental fear is common in children. Pediatric dentists see it every day. In April, which happens to be National Anxiety Month, a study commissioned by Delta Dental Plans confirmed what dental experts have suspected for ages; dental phobia in children is linked to their parents’ dental fear.

Dental fear can be a learned behavior. 
When children see nervous behavior or hear scary dental stories from adults, they begin to view dentistry as something to be feared. To avoid transferring fear of dentist feelings to their children, parents should take steps to resolve their own dental fear such as discussing their concerns with their dentists or using distraction methods during treatment. If dental phobia is severe, it may be wise for them to attend dental visits without children to prevent them from picking up on the uncomfortable feelings. Most importantly, they should avoid sharing their dental fear or negative experiences with their kids.

Children’s dental fear is often the same as that of adults. They include fear of pain, fear of dentist tools and fear of long appointment times or the need for additional work. Clear signs of childhood dental anxiety include missed or canceled appointments, sweating, fainting, crying, panic attacks, irritability and physical symptoms such as nausea, headache or dizziness. Parents can help prevent dental phobia in kids by maintaining a positive tone when talking about dental care. Practicing dental exams on stuffed toys, or teaching kids to count their teeth can make dental care seem like fun. Finally, every child should visit a dentist by the age of one. It’s helpful for children to bond with their dentists before dental fears have a chance to develop. 

To learn about our family dentistry practice in West Chester, call Gentle Dental of West Chester today at (484) 643-4417 or make an appointment.

Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in West Chester. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of West Chester, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of West Chester.

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The staff at Gentle Dentle remember all my family individually, we have a daughter who is special needs-they were great with her! It’s exactly what a great dentist office should be.
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The friendly and personable staff…(especially office clerk “Regina” and Dr Valentine
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Gentle Dental’s customer service skills are top notch. From the appointment reminders to the cavity fills, they are always eager to help. My last dentist always found a cavity, Gentle Dental only […]
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Dr. Valentine and Lorie the dental hygienist are great!
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The best dentist i have ever been to. They really care about you there like you are family.
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Wonderful practice with Caring and skilled staff. Dr. Valentine is terrific. Highly recommend.
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