Lancashire dentist offers tips for parents to help children overcome dental anxiety

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A dentist based in Blackburn, Lancashire, has offered tips to help parents of children who suffer from dental anxiety.

Recently, a dental law firm suggested that attendance rates had fallen among children due to the increased prevalence of dental fear. Now, Dr Karim Rachidi, from Synergy Dental Clinics, is offering advice to parents to help their children overcome a fear of the dentist.

According to Dr Rachidi, many children experience fear as a result of stories they’ve heard when they were younger or negative reactions to going to the dentist displayed by their parents, older siblings or other family members or friends. In some cases, children may also be scared because they have a fear of the unknown, and the dental surgery may seem like a strange place, with lots of odd sounds and unfamiliar sights and smells.

To combat anxiety, Dr Rachidi is urging parents to start taking their children to the dentist on a regular basis from a very early age. Ideally, children should go for check-ups from the age of 12-18 months, and then attend appointments every 6 months. Routine checks are not just effective in terms of prevention, they also help kids to get used to the dental practice and to form a bond with their dentist.

Another piece of advice Dr Rachidi is keen to share is watch what you say around your kids. Children learn from their parents, and they pick up on your reactions and observations. If you talk about dreading going to the dentist, your children are likely to be scared of going themselves. Instead, paint your visit to the dental surgery in a positive light, and be prepared to talk to your kids about what going to dentist entails. Don’t use negative descriptions or talk about fear, and underline the positives, for example, talking about having healthy, strong teeth and a beautiful, shiny smile.

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