Preventing and Overcoming Dental Anxiety


Some children love coming to the dentist from day one and others take time to warm up. If your child gets upset during the visit, rest assured that it is normal behavior because they are in an unfamiliar situation. Please do not be alarmed or embarrassed. We are all trained to help fearful or anxious children through their dental experience, and as your child matures, we hope to encourage his or her independence and promote self-esteem.

If your child is older and has not been to the dentist yet, you should discuss the positive aspects of dentistry with them before the appointment. Try to act relaxed and at ease because if you are stressed and anxious, they will likely be stressed and anxious as well.

Please do not tell your child that the dentist will not hurt because the possibility of pain may have never entered his or her mind. Instead, reassure your child that our Doctors will be friendly and gentle. Also, avoid using words such as needle, shot, pull, or other words that could create anxiety. We will explain our procedures in ways that your child can understand and will work to decrease any fear or anxiety they may have. For example, we call the suction device "Mr. Thirsty" and cavities "sugar bugs."

A common problem that children face is being fearful about coming to the dentist because they are unsure about what will happen. It is normal to be scared of the unknown, and we work with kids every day to help them feel more comfortable so that they can establish a positive relationship with our dentists and staff.

While we welcome parents in the back, if a parent truly has a dental phobia themselves, it may be best for the child to have the parent stay in the waiting room. That fear is easily picked up on by the child. We would like them to come in and experience the dental visit without any preconceived notions about a fear of the dentist.

If you would like for your child to come for a pre-dental visit of the office, please call and ask to schedule a time to come in for a tour. We also have a tab on the website that is for Bippo Lingo. This might help parents learn our use of gentle words to describe the dental talk in a less threatening terminology.

If you have any specific concerns about your child’s first visit, we would love to talk to you about them ahead of time. Just call our office or email us at your convenience.