What to do If Your Teen Refuses to go to the Dentist

Posted Jul 4th, 2019 in Helpful Tips for Parents

What to do If Your Teen Refuses to go to the Dentist

Frequently parents are urged to 'pick their battles' during their child's teenage years. That's good advice but it's important to remember that oral hygiene is a battle worth fighting! Here, our Delta children's dentists explain why. 


Agreeing with parents runs contrary to many teenagers' inner core, but that might not be the reason why your teenager is avoiding going to the dentist. 

Dental Anxiety

Children, teens and even adults commonly suffer from a condition called dental anxiety, or fear of going to the dentist. It's possible that fear is part of the reason your teen is refusing to go to the dentist. Talk to your teen and try to find out what is actually troubling them. This will give your teen an opportunity to mentally prepare for an appointment, and for you to talk about their concerns before you get there. 

Finding a dentist who understands dental anxiety and is willing to work with your teen to ease their fears will also help make the process easier for everyone. 

Stress The Importance Of Oral Health

Share your own experiences or find information online to share with your teen. Showing your them what can happen if they don't take care of their teeth can be a powerful lesson. Learning about the pain and discomfort that can result from poor oral health habits may help to make your teen more willing to take steps towards preventing issues from developing.

Explain that skipping regular check-ups could result in needing even more dental appointments in their future. Much like changing the oil in a car, or cutting your hair, stress that visiting the dentist is about maintenance. Teaching your teen that regular check-ups are about maintaining a healthy smile may help them to see the bigger picture. 

Start Them Young

The key to creating positive oral hygiene routines and habits is teaching kids as early as possible. The sooner your child gets started on the road to good oral health, the more likely they are to keep these habits throughout their teenage years and into adulthood. 

To book a dental appointment for your teenager, contact our children’s dentists in Delta today. 

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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