Pediatric Dentists’ Guide to Child Depression and Dental Care

A few years ago, I read an article saying that the U.S. is becoming more diverse—and more and more different children are having dental problems. This is true, but what many parents don’t realize is some of these kids have been suffering from long-term medical conditions. The best example of this was when my eldest daughter was diagnosed with “molar teeth extraction syndrome”. For those who aren’t familiar with it, I am talking about a condition where a tooth cannot be removed by force because of an infection or inflammation. When our dentist suggested doing root canal on her tooth, she started to cry hysterically as she cried out “Why did I have to go through this, mam?” After being prescribed antibiotics, she started seeing the dentist again and after two months on antibiotics, she returned to school. My daughter has had over 40 root canals filled since and will go back to college now.

Depression and Anxiety in Children

Children are the future and they need to know how to handle the future on their own without constantly looking over their shoulder or waiting for someone to figure out what is happening. Most parents want their kids to feel loved and not to constantly feel alone or scared of the world around them. There are times we all know what depression is and we also know just how scary it can be. Some people think maybe it’s just hormones and we can’t help how we are, but in reality, it is a very complicated thing, it’s a lot harder to deal with than how people think, and a young adult will probably struggle for a lifetime while dealing with it! Here are few from things from Children’s Dentist Indianapolis IN you need to know about depression:

Factors Affecting Children’s Depression

The following are the list of factors according to Children Dental Center Indianapolis, IN that affect how children experience depression:

Parental Influence

The way that a child is brought up, the environment in which he/she lives and the people around him/her can influence how they view depression and make them feel depressed. Parents should always remember that their child isn’t evil or bad all the time, sometimes you hear a comment that people say, “my kid doesn’t just throw tantrums, I swear they have it”—in fact, they don’t have to be so tough as to get angry or even violent about anything. People may think that children with depression are a bit more withdrawn.

However, that is what is commonly misunderstood. They may feel isolated or lonely, but they still need people around them to be there for them. If my kids weren’t getting love and care from me, then I would be sad. But some kids like to take care of themselves, play outside and have friends, so they won’t necessarily need anybody. Children who are depressed don’t just want to sit and play, but Kids Dentist Indianapolis, IN says that they really do need social interaction to function at their optimal level.

Family and Peer Pressure

Most likely, my kids have watched other kids and seen others struggling with depression, so they think it is normal and that it will just pass and that they are good enough! However, that doesn’t happen. Kids Dentist Indianapolis, IN believes that it’s important to understand that everyone experiences pressure in life but not everybody is depressed. Kids tend to be pressured to do their homework, and do their chores—whether that’s helping out around the house or sitting for their tests. Other kids might be pressured to be popular or be liked by other kids, so kids who may be depressed are often bullied and it’s hard for kids with depression to try and talk about their feelings.

Peer pressure can really affect how depressed kids are. Don’t put so much pressure on a kid and let them do what they want. We shouldn’t push our kids as hard as they want, they will fall in love with someone else eventually. Just like adults with depression struggle a little bit every day because they have their own little struggles. Pediatric Dentist Indianapolis, IN recommend to encourage the kids to try to be nice to each other and not put a big burden on them. Sometimes people think they can just go along with their friends and not worry about losing friends like they should in order to show maturity that they can withstand the pain. No one should be forced to stay away from their friends to keep their self-esteem going. Even though my friends have grown up with depression and anxiety, they are still my friends and they always know how to take care of themselves.

Negative Family Roles and Social Expectations

Not only do you need to understand the person’s depression and the way that it affects them, you need to understand that they have their own fears of doing things, and so how they react to any negative comments that someone could say. Another common thing people forget is that depression and anxiety don’t just occur in children, they can run in all families. Maybe my children do have a few fears or anxiety, but most kids don’t. You need to recognize how you can support, teach and encourage your child to feel comfortable speaking their feelings, even if it’s for the first time, that’s okay.

Also, if you find out that your child lacks support or doesn’t seem able to express how they feel then take action! Get involved! Take that extra step! Encourage your child to speak their concerns even if they don’t feel like it or want to but that’s okay if it helps them move forward. If they don’t like school or need extra time to write down assignments, give them the resources they need and get them done. There are plenty of other kids who are struggling and they don’t have to feel ashamed of needing someone to help them—it is normal.

Pediatric Dentistry Indianapolis, IN believes that by supporting a child, you can bring yourself out of depression and anxiety and realize how important you both are to each other. Every family will have its ups and downs, so remember to try to learn from them and keep going.