Help Manage Your Child’s Dental Anxiety

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If you ask any child, they can probably tell you that going to the dentist is the last thing they want to do. Most children are afraid of going to the dentist – the only problem with this is that it is vital for children to go to the dentist once or twice a year. Children must go to the dentist for a variety of reasons – they have new teeth coming in and they can be more susceptible to cavities, mainly because they eat a lot of candy and they have a high sugar content in their food. When it comes down to it, there are many ways to alleviate a child’s dental anxiety. Here are five tips to help parents manage their child’s dental anxiety.

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The earlier the better. Alleviating a child’s fear of dentists earlier in their life is important, because they will be more accustomed to going to the dentist when they get older. You can imagine going to the dentist the first time – with all their shiny metals tools – it would scare any child. So, it is crucial that you build up a child’s comfort factor when it comes to going to the dentist. You usually want to start when your child’s first teeth come in.

Make it easy. Most parents assume that they have to explain to their child about all the procedures that a dentist will perform, but if you want to alleviate a child’s anxiety, you want to keep it vague. The reason for this is simple: the more you explain to them, the more questions your child will have. The more questions there are, the more nervous they will get. This is especially the case when they are in the chair and asking about the tools on the dentist’s table.

Don’t use scary words. There are a few words that will surely induce fear into your child. Words like ‘shot’ or ‘needle’ can be quite scary to children, because they associate those words with pain and anxiety. If your child needs to get a shot before a cavity, it is important to find a more reassuring and calming way to explain what is going to happen. Oftentimes, the pain and anxiety is much worse if they build it up in their minds.

Devise a practice visit. Sometimes a child will be a lot less nervous is they get a lay of the land first. So, before your child visits the dentist, you may want to give them a practice visit – just so they can meet the dentist, see the office and meet the attendants who work at the practice. If they don’t have to get a cleaning or have a cavity filled, this can be a great way to make them associate the dentist’s office with a more neutral place.

Visit a dentist that is good with children. For instance, Embassy Dental has a lot of experience with children, so it may be wise to make an appointment with them versus another dental clinic that may not be so good with children. When it comes down to it, there are only so many dentists that have the patience and the personality to work with children.


  1. Jeson Lopenz says

    This post is very useful for every parents, thanks for the info…

  2. vickie couturier says

    im hoping that reading this will help me out when I take my grandsons for their checkup,,the last trip their mom took them too didn’t go so well

  3. great ideas for this

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