For years, dentists have continually worked to make their offices and amenities more child-friendly. With all the sights and sounds that can cause a child to become fearful or anxious, parents are looking to dental professionals who offers children’s dentistry in Marysville for ways to combat this issue and make the dentist office a welcoming, inviting, and even exciting place for children. Find out what a dentist in Marysville has to say on how behavioral therapy could reduce a child’s dental anxiety without drugs.
There is a multitude of reasons your child might experience dental anxiety, some of which include:
While most children may not be too excited about visiting the dentist, it is the cases of extreme anxiety that can make it difficult for parents to seek proper care and treatment for their child’s teeth and gums. If this common problem is not addressed at an early age, it can follow them through adulthood, further putting their oral health at risk.
Many dentists continue to use and offer sedation dentistry to address the issue of dental anxiety; however, as time has passed, a new approach is now being considered as a viable alternative to using drugs – behavioral therapy.
Known as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), this is a psychotherapeutic solution that has been used for years. Treating everything from depression, eating disorders, and even dental anxiety, it can help a patient handle stress much better with the use of mental and emotional strategies.
Over the course of several months, a qualified therapist meets with the patient on a weekly basis to help them change their way of thinking about what is causing such stress (i.e. dental office). By identifying the underlying cause of their anxiety, the counselor can begin to formulate ways to test whether the child’s reactions are factual. By helping a child to begin replacing their negative, anxious thoughts with more soothing and calming ones, this causes a shift in the way the child thinks about the dentist office and how they react when preparing for a visit or procedure.
Although CBT is not considered to be a quick-fix, successful results can be achieved after several months of treatment, leading to improved oral health during childhood and into adulthood. Now is the time to address this problem when your child is young. Albeit CBT takes time before results are evident, by pursuing this type of therapy, your child can permanently overcome their dental anxiety and be on the path to a lifetime of healthier teeth and gums.
Dr. Michael Giovine attended Western Washington University in Bellingham before later going on to the Oregon Health and Science University where he earned his doctorate. As one of three dentists at Allen Creek Family Dentistry, he and his colleagues are devoted to helping young patients achieve good oral health from the start, which is why they strive to make all patients, both young and old, feel warm, welcome, and comfortable with each visit. To learn more about us, or if you are interested in using CBT to help your child overcome their dental fear, visit our website or call (360) 651-2900.