How do you determine what is the best age for your child to get braces? Asking your child’s dentist is a good place to start.
If you think back to when you were a kid, you likely remember other kids getting braces in junior high or high school. However, over the years practices have changed. Braces have become more popular at younger ages. But, the right treatment age for your child is based upon a variety of factors and on your child’s unique needs.
So how do you determine what is the best age for your child to get braces? Scheduling an evaluation with your child’s dentist is a good place to start.
Dose Your Child Need Braces at All?
The first issue to investigate is whether or not your child needs braces at all. Some of the factors that determine this include health issues. For instance, some children need braces to correct problems like overbites, underbites, and jaw conditions. Another factor is aesthetic reasons, which mostly just comes down to straightening crooked teeth. If your kids have issues in either of those areas, getting braces is likely a good idea.
Why We Can’t Give an Exact Age
Unfortunately, we cannot give you a simple answer to this question. Each child is different, each having his or her own specific factors to consider. However, your child’s dentist is able to help determine at what age they are ready to get braces.
Pediatric Dentist St. Louis
At The Dental Anesthsia Center, we can treat children of all ages with any type of dental need. Children have dental anxiety just like many adults do. Some children who are experiencing anxiety and are unable to cooperate for needed dental treatment can benefit from anesthesia services. In addition, children with physical or mental disabilities who are unable to cooperate for dental treatment can benefit from these services.
Pediatric Dentist St. LouisYour child’s initial oral examination will include a visual examination, charting, diagnosis and treatment recommendations. We work hard to make your child feel at ease by providing exceptional patient care in a relaxed, convenient atmosphere. Depending on your child’s circumstances, we will discuss if sedation or anesthesia is right for your child. Call us today to schedule your appointment at (314) 862-7844. We look forward to meeting you!
Does your child experience anxiety or misbehave at the dentist’s office? If so, the following tips can help!
Though many children react positively to dentists and other medical providers, some have issues with going to appointments. The most common results are anxiety, rebellion, and generally misbehaving. This behavior can be incredibly frustrating for parents. Fortunately, there are a variety of methods you can use to manage your children’s behavior before and during dental appointments.
The first method you can use comes before you ever arrive at the dental office. It is creating realistic expectations for your children. What this strategy does is reduce fear through education. The first way you can do so is through simple explanations about what a facility looks like and what might happen during an appointment. The second method is reading through a children’s book that tackles this issue for you.
Children tend to model their behavior on the people around them. You can use this effect to help them with dental fears. The best way to do so is to bring them along to an appointment for you or one of their siblings. This experience should show them how a person is supposed to handle medical treatment.
Now, let’s move on to management tips that you can use at the appointment, rather than before it. One of them is providing distractions, and the best way to do so is through the dentist’s entertainment system. What it allows you to do is focus your children’s attention on a television show or movie, rather than the treatment they are getting. Not only are distractions useful, but watching entertaining content might help you build a positive association between your child and the dentist.
One of the most powerful persuasion strategies you can use is offering incentives. To do so, think of one of the things your children love to do most. Whether that is a trip to the movies, going to the park, or eating at a favorite restaurant, you can use that activity as a bargaining chip to help your children behave. Even better, sharing the experience can be a wonderful bonding moment for you and them.
Lastly, a bit of positive reinforcement goes a long way when it comes to behavioral management. Telling your children that they are brave and giving other words of encouragement should make them behave at the dentist. As an added benefit, this method should become more and more effective as time passes because reinforcement tends to compound when used over long periods.
If you’re lucky, none of your children will have issues going to the dentist. What might happen, though, is that one or more of them misbehaves or feels anxiety when doing so. Your best bet at solving this problem is utilizing the tried and true behavioral management techniques on this list. One last factor that you can’t discount is the quality and friendliness of your pediatric dentist. If you think it might be time to find a new pediatric dentist, find someone that puts your children at ease.
Those with dental anxiety and similar issues often choose to not go to the dentist at all.
Though they usually know that getting oral care is a smart idea, they decide to stay away. What frequently happens next is those people developing severe dental issues that require more cost and attention than regular maintenance would have. Here’s why employing this strategy will cost you in the long run.
Oral Health Maintenance
When you visit a dental office, the staff takes a look at your mouth and then goes to work. One of the crucial things they do is scrape plaque off of your teeth, but they conduct a variety of other maintenance tasks too. What these do is make your mouth healthier and more resistant to gum disease, tooth decay, and many other diseases. This treatment could save you from more pain and monetary costs later on.
Early Identification of Issues
One of the best things a dentist can do for you is to identify an issue that is developing. Whether that is a cavity coming in, sensitive gums, or any other complication, catching it right away is crucial. The reason is that you can then change your habits to stop the issue from becoming severe. Painful, expensive, and time-consuming treatments are the last thing you want, and getting a regular checkup can help you avoid them.
Dental Care Goes Beyond the Teeth and Gums
One thing that patients often don’t know about oral health is that it is linked to systemic issues like heart and lung disease. While the causal link between these problems is not apparent, the correlation between them is. Developing health complications in the heart or lungs can be disastrous, so you’ll want to do everything you can to avoid that.
Preventative Versus Reactive Care
What we’ve explained in the sections above actually has a financial concept behind it. It is the cost analysis between preventative and reactive care. The former refers to treatment you receive while healthy, and the latter describes
Long Visits and Procedures
The irony of people avoiding the dentist due to anxiety and other issues is that in the end, they often spend more time getting dental work than if they had gone to regular appointments. The reason is that severe complications take many hours of work to resolve, while cleanings and checkups are much quicker.
No matter how severe your issues are with going to the dentist, finding a way to make it happen will almost certainly be better for you. Not only will you have a healthier mouth, but you will likely save money and frustration in the long run. One way that people make dental visits easier is with dental sedation. In short, this process allows patients to be partially conscious and resistant to pain during their treatment. If you’re interested in this option, don’t hesitate to give our office a call and set up an appointment. Call (314) 862-7844.
Our sedation dentists can help you get your needed oral health treatment, no matter how much anxiety you have.
Do you ever feel anxious when you think about going to the dentist? If so, you’re not alone, and if not, you likely know someone that does. The reason is that dental anxiety is incredibly common. Fortunately, people affected by this condition often recognize that they can lean on sedation dentistry for their oral health treatment. What they might not understand is that this treatment might cure their anxiety altogether. We explain how in the sections below.
What is Dental Anxiety?
This condition is relatively easy to understand once you break down the two words. It is a feeling of anxiety or panic at the prospect of going to the dentist. What it often leads to is people not obtaining the oral care that they need, which in turn causes health complications and significant expenses down the line. These reasons make managing dental anxiety a worthwhile goal.
How Sedation Helps
What sedation does for these patients is provide them with a way to get the dental care they need. The following is the typical process that they undergo.
- Consult with a sedation dentist about possible treatment.
- That dentist decides on a level and means of sedation.
- The patient gets their treatment while partially unconscious, relaxed, and less prone to anxious feelings.
This medical practice is a win for those who suffer from anxiety because it has minimal side effects and obtaining dental treatment has substantial upside.
A Somewhat Unexpected Result
Though patients often have high hopes for sedation dentistry, it sometimes delivers more than they could ever imagine. The way it does so is by curing their dental anxiety altogether, rather than just suppressing it during dental treatment. Patients will occasionally find that they no longer need the same levels of sedation that they once did, or they will go even farther and switch to conventional treatment. But why does this phenomenon take place?
Why It Makes Sense
The answer to that question is exposure therapy. Psychologists frequently use this method when working with people with phobias. What they do is, with the consent of the patient, slowly increase exposure to whatever gives them anxiety. In the case of cynophobia, the fear of dogs, that might mean the following four steps.
- Looking at photos of dogs.
- Watching at a dog park from afar.
- Walking through the park.
- Finally, stopping to pet a dog.
While this example is much simpler than the real process, it gives you an idea of how this method works. In the dental setting, those with anxiety experience the imagery, sounds, and feelings associated with dental work. Even if they are only partially conscious, they might quell their fears through simple exposure.
St. Louis Sedation Dentistry
Whether you’ll ultimately be cured of your dental anxiety or not, looking into a sedation dentist is a smart idea. Our sedation dentists can help you get your needed oral health treatment, no matter how afraid you are. An added benefit that you might encounter is conquering your fears altogether and living your life without any dental anxiety.
Call to schedule an appointment at (314) 862-7844.
One of the most common reasons why people suffer from dental anxiety is a traumatic experience in their past.
Whether they were a child or an adult, a dentist visit that goes wrong can have lasting psychological effects for many patients. Fortunately, those that suffer from trauma have options.
Respect the Statistics
No matter what happened to you in a dentist’s office, the odds of something bad happening again are minuscule. The truth is that dentistry is incredibly safe. Something else to note is that your trauma might not have been exactly as you remember it. This is often the case when people have their experience as a child. They recall high levels of pain, but would not feel as bad if they had been an adult at the time.
Find Someone You Trust
An excellent way to calm your nerves is the find a dentist that you trust. Often, the first step in doing so is looking at reviews online. What they will do for you in give you confidence in a provider based on the fact that so many others have been satisfied in the past. Next, you can meet that dentist and the office staff. More than likely, you’ll have a connection with them and be okay with letting them treat you.
Controlled exposure is a technique that has been consistently proven to be effective. In a dental context, it involves you gradually exposing yourself to more and more dental anxiety. In the process, you become braver and able to fight your fear. That process might go something like this:
- Talk to the dentist on the phone about your issues and the possibility of an appointment.
- Drive to the dentist office, but don’t go in.
- Schedule an initial consultation with no treatment.
- Go to a full appointment.
Another way to calm yourself down is through breathing exercises. What sufferers of anxiety often don’t know is that controlling your breath is critical if you want to manage your emotions. When you get worked up, you start to over breath, which creates a feedback loop that heightens anxiety. You can stop this cycle by breathing slowly and deeply, rather than the quick and choppy inhalations that characterize anxious episodes.
Consider Sedation Dentistry
Perhaps the best method of overcoming a traumatic dental experience is using sedation dentistry. What this practice involves is medicating you to the point of partial loss of consciousness. Doing so will lessen your pain response and keep you calm throughout your treatment. Sometimes, lifestyle changes are not enough and medication is necessary for getting you the oral care you need. Sedatives can fill that role for you.
No matter how traumatic your past dental experience was, you cannot avoid this type of medical care your entire life. Instead, you should do whatever you can do get back into the dentist and get the treatment you need.
Give us a call today to schedule an appointment
If you suffer from dental anxiety you may want to consider dental sedation to make your treatment easier and stress-free.
Many people are aware of the fact that dental anxiety affects roughly half of the population. What they don’t know is the specific factors that cause this condition. We hope to close this knowledge gap by explaining the most common root causes of dental anxiety.
Traumatic Dental or Healthcare Experiences
One of the most common root causes of dental anxiety is past medical care experiences. These can come in two forms. The first is one that is specific to dentistry. An example might be somebody that suffered a painful surgery at a young age or had a dentist make a traumatic mistake at some point. The second form is general medical care. This type of trauma is characterized by a person who had a negative experience with some sort of doctor and now feels anxiety in all healthcare settings, including the dentist office.
Trauma to the Head or Neck
Those that experience significant trauma to the head or neck often become sensitive about any treatment that comes above the shoulders. The result is that when a dentist enters those areas with sharp tools, the patient has an involuntary fight or flight response. Though the dentist is safe and has good intentions, that person’s body will tell them to run away because it does not want to get hurt again.
General Anxiety, PTSD, and Other Mental Health Condition
Unlike the previous two causes, this one is not based on experience. Instead, it is a more general category for people with mental health conditions. One of the most prominent of those problems is general anxiety, which affects people throughout their lives. They tend to experience discomfort, a rising heart rate, heavy breathing, and many more symptoms in a variety of situations. One of them is often going to the dentist. For PTSD, people that have suffered traumatic events are often extremely sensitive to noises and touching, both of which are prevalent at the dentist.
Personal Space Sensitivity
Whether somebody is diagnosed as claustrophobic or is simply uncomfortable with being touched, they will have personal space issues at the dentist. The reason is that oral care requires hands-on treatment, such as putting hands in your mouth, from a medical professional. These kinds of activities will make a person with personal space sensitivity extremely uncomfortable.
A common theme among children and victims of abuse is not trusting people. This effect is especially relevant in a dental office, where professionals use sharp tools to clean your teeth. If you have trust issues, you might think that the dentist is trying to hurt you, or at least is not competent enough to keep you safe.