Make Your Child Feel At Ease At The Dentist

Dentist

    Every summer, I make sure to catch up on all of my kids’ appointments since I teach full-time the rest of the year.  Going to the dentist regularly is an important part of instilling good oral hygiene in my boys so we all go every six months for a checkup and a cleaning.  My older son now sees the same dentist that my husband and I do because he is fourteen but our younger son still sees the pediatric dentist since he is eleven.

Dentist

    Since we often made doctor’s visits as a family, my younger son has had the opportunity of being present for his older brother’s dentist appointments which has helped a lot by way of soothing his fears regarding what to expect during his own visit.  I also allowed him to ask the dentist a lot of questions during my cleaning because he was very curious about the whole process.  It really helped him to understand why we place so much emphasis on brushing his teeth a few times a day and flossing twice a day.

Dentist

    Once the time came for his own dentist visit, my son was as cool as a cucumber.  He knew exactly what to expect and was not nervous at all.  I was so proud of him!  If I had to identify the top five things that we did to put him at ease at the dentist that you could also do with your own child, I would have to say:

  • Head to the dentist with your children prior to their appointment so they can take a look around and get a sense for what they will experience during their visit.
  • Highlight the importance of having good oral hygiene by making sure your children brush their teeth a few times per day as well as floss. This will make their dentist visits a lot easier.
  • Have a positive attitude about going to the dentist and refrain from sharing scary dentist stories or experiences with your children.
  • Make sure your children eat and drink before their dental appointment.  These visits can take a few hours and, depending on what your child has done, he or she might not be able to eat immediately after leaving the dentist’s office.

Dentist

    Making your child feel at ease at the dentist will instill a lifetime of good oral hygiene.  It’s just as important for kids to take care of their teeth as it is for them to take care of the rest of their overall health.  It will also make your family’s regular dental checkups less stressful for everyone in your household.

Dentist

Let’s Discuss:  What are some of the ways that you make your children feel more at ease when they go to the dentist?

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Comments

  1. robin rue says:

    My kids are actually going for their 6 month checkups today 🙂 They have been going since they were 3, so it’s just routine for them at this point.

  2. I love these tips and wish my parents had used them with me because I hate the dentist!!

  3. My youngest gets very stressed as soon as he sees the chair. He’s the most easy-going person in the world until he walks into a dentist’s office.

  4. For Ashley, we chose a female dentist because we felt she would respond better to a woman. That turned out to be a good plan, as she loved Dr. Natalie and would do anything for her!

  5. My daughter has been going to the same pediatric dentist since she was 4. She never really had any anxiety issues with her regarding dental exams. Of course the ped dentist has a strict policy of not allowing parents back during the actual exam. They have found that kids are more at ease without having the parent there saying “everything is going to be alright.” I think it worked like a charm.

  6. I just took my almost 2 year old to the dentist for the first time this Friday. They didn’t do anything other than brush his teeth, but we like the idea of getting him comfortable at a young age so when they actually do cleanings he’ll be used to them.

  7. It’s so important not to have a bad dental experience at a young age. My sister did and she is terrified to go to the dentist to this day.

  8. Going to the dentist can be really scary for kids. These are some great ways to make them feel at ease.

  9. These are great tips! I was afraid of the dentist growing up. It wasn’t until I was much older and switched to a wonderful dentist that all that changed.

  10. I wish my parents had used these tips because at 24 I am stillllll so afraid of the dentist. I get anxious every single time and truly need to start prepping myself a bit better!

  11. I can see how the dentist office can be intimidating. I like your strategies. Establishing good dental health habits and making dentist visits easier will help a lot.

  12. My kids are cool about our dentist. He is awesome and puts kids at ease. So do the hygienists!

  13. Neely Moldovan says:

    I love this! Attitude is key! Our dentist was a family friend so I never felt weird. I loved going!

  14. My kids are a litle older but still see the pediatric dentist. Luckily they generally have good checkups and brush regularly.

  15. This is such a sticky subject in my house. My son has autism and he has an aversion to brushing his teeth. And going to the dentist? So hard. We just went. It was super stressful.

  16. These are some great tips! It’s funny how some people have phobias of the dentist and others don’t! I’ve always been fine with it even if i’m not thrilled to get a filling or a needle!

  17. It’s definitely important to be there with your child so that they’ll feel secure while having their teeth checked! Loved these reminders for parents!

  18. I nanny for a little boy who is definitely scared of the dentist. He’s getting better but it’s always been tough for him!

  19. My kids are going in a couple weeks to get their retainers checked. They are pretty relaxed about the dentist. I love a pediatric dentists for kids.

  20. My kids have never been afraid of the dentist and my daughter has had a lot of work done. I think it has to do with finding a great pediatric dentist.

  21. I am lucky that the kids love their dentist. It’s also about picking the right dental clinic and dentist for the kids so that they’ll feel comfortable and at ease. Aside from that, it’s definitely a must to go there with them. Great tips!

  22. I used to hate going to the dentist when I was a child. The whirring sound of their instruments scared me. Well, things changed when my sister became a dentist. My kids love going to her clinic and having their teeth checked and cleaned.

  23. I was never afraid of the dentist as a kid, but that might be because he was a family friend. I need to schedule my daughter an appointment soon and I pray she isn’t scared. These are awesome tips that I will for sure put to use!

  24. Lindsey Mozgai says:

    Where was this article when I was a kid! I hated going to the dentist as a kid and wished so badly my parents could find a way to make it better.

  25. My kids actually really enjoy the dentist. It’s me that has the big issue. I guess I could use these tips for myself.

  26. These are great tips because the dentist as a child can be very scary! My boys go to a pediatric dentistry where the Bldg is shaped like a train and there are train toys and tracks inside. They love it!

  27. I think all kids are scared of the dentist. It never easy at any age. I agree the child needs to feel secure and happy at all time.

  28. My son has been going to the dentist since he was 2 so he is used to it. He doesn’t like it but knows it is for the best lol

  29. It’s funny, I’ve never actually been to a dentist or been afraid of one because my dad is an orthodontist and my mom a dental hygienist. Whenever I needed work done I went to them. However, now that they are retired, I will have to find a dentist and I hope they are as good as my parents.

  30. Going to the dentist can be scary but as long as you make it no big deal, your kids won’t be so worried. A lot of dentist these days cater to kids so they do help make the process a lot more fun and less intimidating.

  31. My oldest son hated going to the dentist when he was younger, but he doesn’t seem mind going since he is now older. Meanwhile, it’s my middle child (daughter) that hates it!

  32. I so love that you included that parents should exhibit positive attitude about the experience. Our kids feed off of us and follow our lead. If we say negative things they’ll think and feel the same. Great points!

  33. Thanks for these awesome suggestions. I will definitely remember these tips for my little one. I hope he won’t be scared to go to the dentist.

  34. These tips are great. Parents like me can now take a breath of relief.

  35. These are great tips. My kids are not fans of going to the dentist! This is awesome!

  36. These are really good ideas. My four year old was very scared when he went for the first time. I’m hoping to avoid some of it with my 2 year old.

  37. Growing up I was scared of the dentist and having people there for me definitely helped me through it!

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