What to Do if Your Child is Afraid of the Dentist

Posted Nov 13th, 2019 in General Information, Helpful Tips for Parents, Preparing Your Child

What to Do if Your Child is Afraid of the Dentist

A trip to the dentist can be especially frightening for some children. If your child is afraid to visit the dentist there are a few ways that you can help to reduce their dental anxiety. 


We understand that for some children a trip to the dentist can be frightening, which is why at Smile Town in Delta we have created a friendly and cheerful office environment to help your child have a stress-free dental experience.

There are also a number of things you can do to help put your child at ease, before arriving at our dental office.

Start Young

By bringing your child to the dentist when they are young, the experience will feel normal. It will give your child a chance to get used to visiting the dentist and allow them to become familiar with the office surroundings, the team of dental professionals, and what happens when they visit.

We suggest bringing your child to the dentist, for their first appointment, just before their first birthday, or within 6 months of their first tooth coming in.

Your child will become comfortable visiting the our child-friendly office, and the dentist will have an opportunity to identify any oral health issues early, before they become more serious.

Prepare Your Child Ahead of Time

Talk to your child about their upcoming dentist appointment. Keep it simple and avoid getting  into too much detail. Avoid using words that could increase your child's anxiety such as 'needle' or 'pain'. Use positive phrases such as 'clean, healthy, strong teeth', and mention that the dentist is going to count their teeth and check their smile.

Be positive, but be realistic. If you tell your child that everything will be fine, but then they need treatment your child could lose trust in you, and the dentist.

Read books about going to the dentist. There are a number of age appropriate story books available to help your child understand what will happen at the dentist. Look for a book featuring one of your child's favourite characters to help them view a trip to the dentist as a positive experience.

Hide Your Own Anxiety

You may be anxious or nervous about visiting the dentist, but make an effort to put on a brave casual face when talking to your child about the dentist.

Avoid giving your child too much detail about your own past dental experiences. Remain calm, relaxed and positive, even if that's not how you really feel.

Be Prepared For A Few Tears

Our team of dental professionals treat children all the time.  We know how to help you and your child when difficult behaviour happens. We understand that your child might begin to cry, squirm, whine, or resist treatment. Be sure to prepare yourself for this possibility and try to remain calm. 

If you have more questions about how to help your child feel less afraid of the dentist, give us a call. We’re here 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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