You’ve helped your little one brush their teeth, floss, and rinse with mouthwash. After you read them a story and tuck them into bed, you give them a kiss on the head and turn off the lights… But just an hour later, they wake you up screaming from a nightmare!
Kids can be scared of lots of things, both real and imaginary. Considering how much time they need to spend sleeping to grow, it’s no wonder that they get the occasional nightmare. Children between the ages 3 to 6 are even more prone to having vivid dreams because their brains are developing rapidly and their imaginations are running wild.
While our pediatric dentists at Polkadot Dental can’t help you fight off any monsters or witches, we can help you try to interpret your child’s dental dreams and what they mean! Having dreams about teeth is actually really common in both kids and adults. Some people believe our dreams are messages that our subconscious is trying to send us.
No matter what you believe, you will want to keep your child from having any nightmares. Having bad dreams can result in stress, stunted growth, and even teeth grinding. If your child can’t have sweets, at least let them have sweet dreams! Below are the most common types of dental dreams and how to keep them from recurring:
These kinds of dreams are actually probably less scary for kids than they are for adults. Children are born with a set of primary teeth that they will lose in order for their permanent teeth to grow in. This is a natural process that happens to everyone! You can explain this to your child, so they know there is nothing to be scared of if they do lose their teeth.
It is possible that your child may be scared that losing a tooth will be painful. Assure them that it’s a normal part of growing up that usually doesn’t hurt. You can also enlist the help of your local pediatric dentist in Alpharetta to help you extract the tooth and explain the process of losing teeth.
For older kids who already have their permanent teeth, this dream may be a sign that they are afraid of growing up. Adolescence is a tough time to navigate. If your child doesn’t want to talk to you about their nightmares, try getting them a journal to write down their dreams and feelings in. This can help them express themselves in a private, independent way. Journaling is also known to reduce stress!
Villains in children’s stories and books often have rotting, discolored teeth. If your child dreams that their teeth are rotting, they may be feeling guilty, insecure, or ashamed about something. Remind your child that you love them no matter what and tuck them back into bed.
Of course, a dream about rotting teeth can simply mean that your child is afraid of rotting teeth! Let your child know that they are in complete control of their dental health. Proper brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are the best way to prevent cavities and rotten teeth. To quash this fear, make oral hygiene a family routine! Replace your brushes together every two months and talk to your pediatric dentist about investing in a fluoridated toothpaste for the family.
Children who have not had the best experience at the dentist’s office may have nightmares about it. A bad dream about getting teeth pulled out may be associated with the fear of losing control. It could also be associated with a negative memory from the dental office.
Going to a pediatric dental office that caters to a child’s needs is an excellent way to re-establish a positive relationship between your child and the dentist. At Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry, the environment is warm, friendly, and cozy. There are stuffed animals, games, toys, kids’ magazines, books, and animated movies playing in the waiting room.
Most importantly, our Alpharetta pediatric dentists are dedicated to cultivating great relationships with their patients. Our staff is trained in behavior management and communication techniques for children, so your child feels comfortable and safe. Creating a dental home for your child can reduce their fears and stop the nightmares about the dentist!
A beautiful smile is often associated with happiness and popularity. A dream that centers on an individual’s abnormal teeth (buck teeth, gapped teeth, oddly colored teeth) may occur due to feelings of loneliness. Your child could be struggling to fit in at school or dealing with bullies. Talk to your child about what’s going on in their lives to figure out if this may be the case.
Kids who are genuinely concerned about how their teeth look should know that they can always get braces. In fact, the Alpharetta orthodontists next door, Newpark Orthodontics, provide orthodontic options for kids of all ages.
It is also important to stress, however, that looks aren’t everything! There may be a lot of pressure on the youth to look and act a certain way, especially in the age of social media, but not everyone looks the same nor should they! We should all embrace our differences and quirks because those are the things that make us special.
Dental dreams aren’t all bad! Sometimes, kids dream about having cool tusks or pearly white smiles. As you can tell, however, teeth are very important to all of us, whether we realize it or not. Don’t let your child take theirs for granted! Show them the importance of brushing their teeth and maintaining great dental hygiene for the future. It will definitely be worth it.
To learn more about proper care, talk to us at Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry. We are experts on dentistry for children and we would be more than happy to work with your child. Book an appointment today!