Dental Fear & Anxiety Management for Children

Posted Nov 4th, 2015 in Helpful Tips for Parents, Preparing Your Child

Dental Fear & Anxiety Management for Children

No two children will have exactly the same reaction to sitting in the dentist's chair. Some are completely calm and cheerful during the whole process, while others feel unusual levels of fear and nervousness when visiting the dentist.


From a kid's perspective, visiting the dentist can be an intimidating prospect.

They have to sit in a big chair, in a strange room that's full of unfamiliar noises and weird looking dental equipment, all while the dentist pokes around in their mouths with cold metal tools. In fact, it can all be a bit scary for adults, too!

We understand.

At SmileTown Dentistry in North Delta, we want our young patients to feel safe and comfortable during their visit with us. For this reason, we’ve designed our practice with the needs of children in mind.

Our office environment is fun, engaging and colourful, with lots of games, books, and toys to keep kids occupied while they wait for their appointments.

Our team of pediatric dentistry specialists has a wide breadth of experience working with children. They’re kind, gentle and caring, and they know just how to make kids feel safe and cheerful.

We’ll go above and beyond to make each of your child's dental care experiences calm and successful.

To help relieve some of the anxiety children feel before an appointment, here are some tips for parents:

Start young

Once your child’s first tooth emerges, it’s time for the first dental appointment! Starting early on gives your child lots of opportunities to get used to the process.

Prepare your child, but keep it simple

When discussing a dental appointment (especially the first one) with your children, don’t go into a lot of detail. Be positive, but also be realistic and honest. If you say everything will be fine, but then they end up needing a treatment that they find alarming, they’ll lose trust in the dentist and in you.

Keep your language simple: just tell your children that the dentist is just going to examine their smiles and count how many teeth they have. If they have questions, try to use positive words, such as ‘strong, clean healthy teeth’.

Select your words carefully

Avoid using scary words like ‘pain' ‘needle’, or ‘shot.’ Allow the dental staff to introduce their own vocabulary to help your child get through difficult or scary situations.

Hide your own anxiety

If you tend to get nervous or anxious yourself about dental treatment, do your best not to let it show. Put on a casual, brave face in front of your kids, even if you don't actually feel that way.

Also, avoid giving your children specific details about past dental experiences.

Be prepared for a fuss

Occasionally, even the most relaxed kids might start fidgeting, crying, whining, or resisting treatment. Accept this possible eventuality, and don't let it stress you out. If it helps, remind yourself that the dentist and his or her dental team treat children all the time, and and are used to tantrums; they have the situation under control.

If you have any other questions about helping children feel comfortable with visiting their North Delta children's dentist, give us a call. We’d be glad to help!

Download the FREE Smile Town Children's Activity Book.

A great resource to help get your kids ready – and excited – about visiting the dentist.


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