Relieving Dental Fear and Anxiety in Children

Posted Oct 15th, 2015 in Helpful Tips for Parents, Preparing Your Child

Relieving Dental Fear and Anxiety in Children

Each child has a different reaction sitting in the dentist's chair. Some aren't bothered at all, while others feel an unusual level of fear and anxiety when visiting the dentist.


For kids, a trip to the dentist can sometimes be a scary prospect.

They have to lie in a big chair, in a strange room full of unfamiliar noises and intimidating dental equipment, all while the dentist pokes around in their mouths with shiny, cold metal tools. Let's be honest; it can even be a bit scary for adults!

We understand.

At SmileTown Dentistry in Burnaby, we want our young patients to feel as safe and comfortable as possible while they’re with us. For this reason, we’ve designed our practice with children, and their needs, as the focus.

Our fun, cheerful office environment is interactive and colourful, with lots of books, toys, and games to keep kids busy as they wait for their appointments.

Our team of pediatric dentistry specialists has lots of experience working with kids. They’re cheerful, gentle and caring, and they know just how to make kids feel safe.

Once you and your child have arrived at our office, we’ll go above and beyond to make the visit a calm and successful one.

For parents who want relieve some of the anxiety their children feel before an appointment, here are some tips:

Start young

As soon as your child’s first tooth emerges, it’s time for the first visit! The sooner you start bringing your child to the dentist, the the more opportunities your child will have to get used to it.

Prepare your child, but keep it simple

When talking to your children about a dental appointment (especially the first one), don’t go into much detail. Stay positive, but be realistic and honest. If you say everything will be fine, but then they wind up needing a treatment that scares them, they’ll lose trust in the dentist, and in you.

Keep it simple by telling your children that their Burnaby children's dentist is going to examine their smiles and count how many teeth they have. If they ask questions, try to use positive phrases, such as ‘strong, clean healthy teeth’.

Select your words carefully

Avoid using scary words like ‘needle’, ‘shot’, or ‘pain’. Let the dental staff introduce their own vocabulary to your child, to help them get through difficult, alarming situations.

Hide your own anxiety

If you tend to get nervous or anxious about your own visits to the dentist, or about your child’s visits, don’t let it show. Put on a casual, brave face for your kids, even if you’re not really feeling that way.

Also, avoid giving your children detailed accounts of your past dental experiences.

Be prepared for a fuss

Sometimes, even the most relaxed kids might begin to fidget, cry, whine, or resist treatment. Accept that this is a possible eventuality, and stay calm. Remember, above all, that the dentist and dental team treat children on a regular basis, and have seen a their share of tantrums; they have the situation under control.

If you have any other questions about helping children feel comfortable with visiting the dentist, give us a call at SmileTown Dentistry in Burnaby. We’d be glad to help!

Download the FREE SmileTown Kids' Activity Booklet.

A great resource to help get your kids ready – and excited – to visit the dentist.


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