5 Tips for Encouraging Kids Who Are Scared to Go to the Dentist

Taking kids to the dentist is an important part of maintaining good oral health and promoting positive  habits. For a child, it’s common to feel nervous or scared about going to the dentist. Even some adults are still afraid of showing up to their cleanings. 

Ensuring your child knows that going to the dentist is easy and safe goes a long way towards helping them feel comfortable and look forward to their dental visits. Read on for some tips to help make future dental appointments for your child a breeze.

1. Start Young

The sooner you bring your child to the dentist, the better. This will give them a dental home and help them become familiar with the dental environment more easily. Taking your child to the dentist for the first time should occur either by their first birthday or when their first tooth is visible. 

2. Keep It Simple

Try not to include too many details when preparing your child for their visit to the dentist. Overloading your child with too much information will raise more questions and could lead to unnecessary anxiety. Stay positive when discussing dental visits and don’t overcomplicate the process. 

3. Practice at Home Before Your Dentist Visit

Play pretend with your child before their first dental appointment. All you’ll need is a toothbrush. 

  • Simulate a dental visit by counting your child’s teeth, one by one. 
  • Hold up a mirror and demonstrate how a dentist would check their teeth.
  • Let your child roleplay by using a toothbrush to clean the teeth of a stuffed animal, doll or action figure.
  • Use picture books with detailed instructions and simple language to familiarize your child with the process.

4. Avoid Bribery

It may be tempting, but don’t promise your child special treats and rewards for behaving well at their dental appointments. Promising rewards will raise alarms because it indicates that there’s something scary or stressful about going to the dentist. With that being said, it’s important to affirm your child after the dentist visit is over if they behaved well. Make sure they know they are brave and that you are proud of them.

5. Stress the Importance of Good Oral Hygiene

You should teach your child that visiting the dentist is a necessity and that their dentist will take care of their teeth. Ensure your child knows that dentists are helpful, positive individuals who keep cavities at bay and maintain beautiful smiles for years to come. Find a good pediatric or family dentist near you who can establish a strong relationship with your child going forward. Set an example by also attending your dental visits regularly so your child understands that it’s important for everyone, no matter how old they are. 

Protect Your Smile with Radiance Dental

Are you looking for a family dentist near you? At Radiance Dental, we create healthy RADIANT smiles for life. We provide general, pediatric and cosmetic dentistry services for the entire family. Our dedicated staff is committed to continued education to learn the latest techniques and technologies to provide the best available care for our patients. We provide a safe, comfortable atmosphere for regular cleanings, important questions and the treatments our patients need to put their best smile forward. If you are interested in bringing your child in for a cleaning, schedule a dental appointment with the best family dentist near you today.