Parents in Australia are putting their children’s dental health at risk as a result of a fear of going to the dentist.
Studies suggest that around 50% of Australian adults experience dental anxiety and a quarter of patients haven’t booked a dental appointment since suffering a negative experience in the past. Sally-Anne Blandshard is one of many parents who put off going to the dentist because of dental anxiety. Sally-Anne had a bad experience after having a wisdom tooth removed when she was younger, which meant that she didn’t see a dentist for several years.
It wasn’t until Sally-Anne had children that she realised that she needed to overcome her fear to enable her kids to benefit from regular dental appointments. She was willing to try to tackle her anxiety for the sake of her children, but there are many others who don’t feel able to because they assume that their children will have the same experiences, according to oral health therapist, Emma Cubis. Ms Cubis encouraged parents to take their kids to the dentist regularly, insisting that they don’t need to be “fearful.”
Ms Cubis stressed that going to the dentist from an early age is beneficial for oral health and development and it also plays an important role in enabling kids to adjust and get used to the sights, sounds and smells of the dental practice.
Since Sally-Anne started attending dental appointments with her children, she said that her anxiety has got much better and she now recognises the importance of being proactive in seeing a dentist and keeping up with routine checks.
A survey conducted by Grin Natural showed that 40% of parents in Australia don’t know what to look out for when checking their children’s teeth and gums. To encourage better oral healthcare and hygiene, Grin Natural has joined forces with former Olympian and mum of six, Jana Pittman, for a new campaign named ‘Share a Grin.’