Afraid of the dentist? How to prep for a great visit

For some adults, going to the dentist is a terrifying thing. Just imagine how kids may feel! Dentophobia, or fear of the dentist, is a real thing and can be a challenge in pediatric dental health. It is important to address dental anxiety early to prevent oral health problems in the future. Here are eight tips to help make kids more comfortable going to the dentist:

  1. Start taking them to the dentist early around the age of one to become familiar with the dentist and their office.
  2. Chose a pediatric dentist if possible and arrange a visit the office to meet the dentist and staff prior to the first appointment.
  3. Play pretend “dentist office” with your child and have fun with colorful brushes, mirrors, and a special chair.
  4. Read children’s books about going to the dentist to introduce them to what happens in a way they can understand.
  5. Teach simple relaxation techniques like breathing exercises to try before the visit and any other times to help prevent nervousness.
  6. Let them know how important going to the dentist is for their health.
  7. Use positive praises or small rewards like stickers or crayons for their good behavior during visits for encouragement.
  8. Stay with your child and show them a good example by staying calm yourself.