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How To Help Your Child Feel Comfortable Going To The Dentist

How To Help Your Child Feel Comfortable Going To The Dentist

Going to the dentist can make some children feel scared, nervous, or uncomfortable. This dental anxiety is fairly common in children, as they aren’t familiar with someone looking into their mouth or being around adults they don’t know well. But your child doesn’t need to be afraid while in the dentist’s chair, and getting them to the dentist doesn’t need to be a struggle. To help calm your child’s dental anxieties, here are some exercises you can do both at home and at the dentist to make your child feel more comfortable.

Find What Makes Your Child Comfortable With The Dentist

Some of these techniques will work for some kids and not for others, so you may have to try them out or use a combination of techniques to see what works most effectively for your child.

  • Introduce Them To The Dentist And Dental Assistant Before Hand. If you know your child is nervous about the dentist, try to schedule a time when your dentist and/or dental assistants can say hello. This will help the child see them as a person outside of the examination room. If the dentist/dental hygienist isn’t available, try taking your child for a tour of the office so that it’s not as strange to them the next time they go. Dental anxiety is often caused by the child feeling uncomfortable with an unfamiliar situation so normalizing the dentist can help them feel at ease.
  • Make A Dental Report Card. What child is immune to a smiley face sticker or a gold star? Make a little report card before you go and show it to them so they know what sort of behavior will get a good mark. Then, during or after the appointment, you can give them gold stars, stickers, check marks, A+, or whatever your child prefers. You can also use this technique at home to develop good oral hygiene practices, such as giving gold stars when they brush their teeth.
  • Let Them Dress Up. If your kid has a favorite costume or likes to wear fancy clothes, let them. It might make them feel like the dentist is more fun, it might comfort them, or it might give them a sense of choice, even if it’s not about whether or not they can go to the dentist.
  • Play Dentist At Home. Lots of kids play doctor at home, so do the same with the dentist. Get your child used to having someone look at their teeth by pretending to be a dentist and let them do the same to you. This will make going to the dentist feel more familiar and help your child get comfortable with someone looking at their mouth.
  • Bring A Distraction. This could be a stuffed animal or a blanket they like. If it’s a comfort object, it might help them feel more at ease, but it will also give them something else to focus on.
  • Make The Trip Fun. This can start before you even get to the office. Listen to their favorite music on the drive over, talk to them about things they like and keep your tone positive. Try to schedule the appointment at a time where you won’t be stressed or rushing, as your child will pick up on this and feel stressed as well.

Get The Right Dental Service For Your Child

When it’s time for your child to start going to the dentist, make the experience calm and fun. When your child is taught that going to the dentist is normal and not a scary or painful experience, it will not only help to keep them calm and cooperative, but it will make your life easier. Marlborough Dental Centre in NE Calgary cares about your child’s worries and concerns and we do what it takes to make your child’s experience with dental services a positive one. At our NE Calgary dental clinic, Dr. Popp and the team have years of experience in pediatric dentistry. We take a caring and gentle approach to your child's oral care and strive to educate our patients on how to take care of your little one's teeth, setting the foundation for proper dental hygiene and a long-lasting, healthy smile. Book your appointment by calling 1-403-248-2066 or fill out the contact form below.


Q: When should my child visit the dentist?
A: The Canadian Dental Association recommends booking your child's first dental appointment within 6 months of the eruption of their first tooth or by the age of one.

Q: How often should my child brush their teeth?
A: Your child should brush their teeth twice a day for about two minutes. Ideal times are once in the morning and again before bed. Brushing and flossing are part of a good oral hygiene routine.

Q: When should my child start losing their teeth?
A: Children should lose their baby teeth somewhere between the ages of 6 and 12. If your child is over 12 and still has one or more baby teeth, visit Marlborough Dental Centre in NE Calgary to schedule a dental exam and determine the proper course of action.

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