Friday, February 27, 2015

Tips To Help Make Your Child's Dental Visits Easier

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Kids can often be nervous before going to the dentist - especially for their first trip.  My kids absolutely love going to the dentist (they have an amazing play room to wait in)  We did have some issues with Mr. J after a bad experience with a hygienist - I spoke with the dentist about my concerns and it was dealt with.
We also made sure that the kids are always seen by 1 particular hygienist, and will re-book the appointment if she is sick.  Here are some tips to help alleviate the fear your kids might have:
  1. Tell them what to expect - but don't scare them (leave out drills and needles etc) 
  2. Bring them with you to a cleaning if it is possible
  3. Make sure the dentist is good with kids, and comfortable working with them.  You don't NEED a pediatric dentist, but not all dentists are comfortable with kids in their chair
  4. For their first visit, it should be a quick trip.  The dentist will count their teeth and check to see how things are progressing.  Doing this around 1 year old is a great time.  My kids lay backwards on my lap while the dentist looked in their mouths - and yes, they screamed through it!
  5. Don't use the dentist as a scare tactic for getting kids to brush/floss their teeth.  
  6. If they are super anxious, talk to the dentist about using gravol or benadryl to calm/relax them prior to the visit.
  7. My kids are much better without me in the room.  Honestly, if I am sitting beside them they cling to me and don't want to open their mouths.  If I am not there, they are quite happy to watch the video playing above them and open to have their cleaning done.  This might be something to try.  For Mr. K, I need to walk him in, and then when he is settled in the chair I tell him I am going to the washroom, and that the hygienist knows where to find me when he is finished - he has always been fine with this.
  8. It's ok if a cleaning doesn't happen.  You can try again another time.  If it is an appointment for dental work, they may need to give your child a sedative so that they can get the work done.


  1. Your tips are great. I agree -- do not make the kids afraid of the dentist. They are already nervous so adding more fear is not a good plan. The first time my daughter (then 5) needed to see the dentist she freaked out. We ended up sending her to a specialist and she received "the gas". It was the most hysterical visit ever! She loves the dentist now. :)

  2. These are very sensitive and sensible tips for making the visit to the dentist go smoothly and easily for both the child and the parent. A far cry from my days visiting the dentist who was both filling happy and loved to suggest braces to everyone. Luckily my parents said "no" and I turned out with a perfect set of teeth anyways. :)

  3. Excellent tips, Ashley! When my daughters were young, I used to take them to the dentist just to accompany me and get used to the staff there. They were so much more comfortable when the time came for their own visit! :)

  4. These are great ideas for helping children be less afraid of the dentist. My little cousin hated going to the dentist at first, but his mom would just give him his video game toy and a kiss on the cheek and he was fine. I think my favorite tip out of everything you pointed out was to explain what to expect, and to take them in to a cleaning with you. cosmetic dentist

  5. Great tips. My 3 year old is a nightmare to take to the dentist. I was a dental assistant and can't calm him. I will try some of your tips :)

  6. Awesome tips!! I could not be in the room either for my girls, they were completely different people when I wasn't and my dogs are the same way I have to leave the room so the vet can do what she has to...children and dogs quite the characters!!

  7. My kids don't mind the dentist so I am very lucky. It helped that I started to take them very early on.

  8. Great tips! I never disliked the dentist but I know a lot of kids who do.


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