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Defeat Dental Anxiety for Yourself and Your Kids

Some experts claim that eight out of 10 Americans have fear of the dentist. Because it’s National Anxiety Month, April is the perfect month to focus on overcoming dental phobia. A fear of dental visits can stand between you and your healthy smile. When you avoid getting the professional dental car you need, you are at much higher risk of developing gum disease, bad breath, and cavities. Eventually, untreated dental problems result in tooth loss, so learning to conquer your dental anxiety is important.

Reasons for Dental Phobia

Your fear of the dentist may involve multiple factors. A painful or negative childhood experience is a common cause. Perhaps the strange smells and sounds of a dentist’s office scare you, or maybe you feel out of control and helpless during treatment. Other possible reasons include being embarrassed about your teeth, hearing negative stories from others, and simply having to face the unknown.

Avoid Sharing a Fear of the Dentist with Your Kids

A recent study released by Delta Dental Plans, shows that a fear of the dentist may be inadvertently passed along from parents to children. About half the parents surveyed reported having some form of dental phobia. The number of children who suffered from the same dental anxiety was almost identical. Experts believe that kids can easily pick up on their parents’ negative thoughts and dental phobia, so it’s important to both address your own anxiety, and stay positive when discussing dental care with your kids.

Here are seven ways to help you manage your fear of the dentist and prevent spreading it to the next generation.

  1. Choose a dentist who specializes in treating patients with dental anxiety.
  2. Agree on hand signals to communicate with your dentist during treatment.
  3. Share your fears with your dentist and his or her staff.
  4. Ask your dentist to explain procedures in detail before performing them.
  5. Wear headphones during treatment, so you won’t hear the drill or other sounds.
  6. Ask your dentist about sedation dentistry. Modern anesthesia options can often help ease anxiety symptoms.
  7. Use relaxation techniques, or seek professional treatment for your dental phobia. 


To learn about our family dentistry practice in Detroit, call Gentle Dental of Michigan today at or make an appointment.


Gentle Dental of Michigan offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Detroit. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Detroit, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Michigan, 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 Michigan.

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