When considering dentistry for children, there’s much more at stake than just the child’s dental health. Dentists, parents and all other interested parties must also consider the attitude ingrained in children concerning dental health care. The reason is that such an attitude will have a crucial impact on the compliance of such a child to dental care later in life.
You shouldn’t be worried that you might not have any control on the type of attitude your child develops concerning dental health care. It’s actually possible to develop a positive dental attitude in your child through specific behaviour guidance techniques. Such behaviour guidance techniques, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), involve pharmacological as well as non-pharmacological methods.
One pharmacological-related method of developing a positive dental attitude in your child is pain management.
How Pain Management Can Help Your Child Develop A Positive Dental Attitude
Anything that you may not like as an adult also would often not be liked by kids. However, you might not fully comprehend how extensively a painful experience can affect your child. Being an adult, you might have developed a good number of coping strategies to manage pain, but a young child would have a very hard time coping with similar pain.
Indeed, a 2008 report by the "Pain" journal actually affirmed this common sense understanding that pain can have far-reaching adverse effects. The report identified pain in past dental visits as possibly contributing to patients’ fear or behaviour problems. Hence, pain management is critical in preventing your child from developing a negative attitude towards dental health care.
Once the aspect of pain has been effectively handled, it’s so much easier for a dental practitioner to build trust with the child. This will make the child more willing to comply with the necessary dental health care requirements. Definitely, any parent would love to see his/ her child being excited about a forthcoming dental visit, rather than protesting.
Regarding this aspect of pain, parents as well as dentists must guard against the all-so-convenient habit of comparing one child with another. Just because one child isn’t protesting loudly like all the rest, doesn’t mean that he/ she are feeling less pain than the rest. Of course, every mother would know that each child is uniquely special and the way children react to pain is completely different. Having a better understanding of a child’s personality would give a clearer insight into what the child is actually experiencing, which would be far better than simply comparing one child’s reaction with that of another.
Even as the evidence of pain between on child and another differs based on their personalities, it would also differ based on age difference. The 4-year-old age-group, in particular, would have a much lower capacity to communicate their sensitivity to pain, yet they actually have greater sensitivity to painful stimuli. This is something that a specialized paediatric dentist would understand and know how well to detect the reception of painful stimuli in children of different ages.
Just as it’s said that "the customer is always right" in business, so also would it be said that "the patient is always right" when dealing with pain in health care. An expert medical professional would know better than to make assumptions of the extent of pain felt by a patient, since it’s only the patient who knows how much it hurts.