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I can’t face taking my children to the dentist

Hi, Ive always had a bit of a fear of the dentist (choking and the drill) but always went and took my children every 6 mths.
Around 2 yrs ago I had to have treatment and although I had a very supportive dentist I found it all very distressing and have not been back since for my follow up. My fear has now grown and I feel sick at the thought of going, its at the point I urgently need to go as Im in great pain when I eat and now can only eat soft food that I can swallow without chewing!
My biggest problem is I need my children to go and I cant face taking them! Today I walked to a dentist and registered them and made a appointment, from the moment I saw the place my heart was racing and I shaking badly, I asked the receptionist that if I was to bring them would a close friend be able to take them into the room as I could’n’t go in with them. She told me no it had to be a parent or relative (I have none) I explained that I would’n’t be able to handle it and if I did my children would pick up on my fear and upset and it would distress them! (by this point im holding back the tears and she could quite clearly see i was upset) but she just shrugged her shoulders. When I left I cried and had to take deep breaths to calm myself down and I was still shaking on my way home.
I don’t know how I can cope taking them. It took me countless trips to go there and finally pluck up the courage just to register them and now to top it all off I feel like im being judged as a bad mum for not taking them sooner (believe me I cant feel any worse about that than I do already). I don’t care about my teeth I just need to take my children, do you please have any advice or suggestions about how I can get through this without passing my fear onto my children aged 4,7 and 11
Many Thanks.

Hello
the great thing I see from you is how much you care about your children getting to the dentist . You got over your anxiety and got them registered .
There should be a way for someone else to take them into the dentists room .The main thing a parent has to do is give consent to anything that needs to be done , or for the dentist to examine the child . There is NO rule that says it cant be a friend who is in the room with them .
But that then has some difficulties .
Your children will wonder why Mummy is not being there , and especially young ones need a parents support if they are shy or concerned themselves .
Sometimes the dentist needs to give a parent some advice about what to do to help the children free from tooth decay , so if its given to a friend then they miss out . Often feeling judged is actually not correct as you are assuming what someone else is thinking .
Most dentists will have seen cases where a parent is very fearful and the other parent brings the children .
Could you get a friend to go with all of you , and you sit in the reception area . That will help you defuse your anxiety and you may feel able to go in and talk to the dentist .
For yourself perhaps you could get your dr to give you a mild sedative before you go , and just go and have them looked at first
Hope this helps
Jenny

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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