Child Comfortable Dentist

It is not strange for children to act up in their first few visits to the dentist. After all, it is a new environment and a new experience for them. At Lakeside Dental, our pediatric dentists have worked with lots of kids and have built experience in dealing with children when they come for dentist appointments. The following are some tips that will help to alleviate your child’s anxiety and can even make them look forward to their visits to the dentist.

1. Visit the dentist at a young age

It is advised that you introduce your children to visits to the dentist early. It could be as early as when they are a year old or when they sprout their first teeth. Although this visit is more informational, it helps your child get used to visiting the dentist and having tools in their mouth early. This way, by the time your child becomes a toddler, they would have become fully adapted to visits to the dentist. It can also help to take pictures of their earlier visits to the dentist so they can see themselves at the dentist's when they are older, building their confidence towards dentist visits.

2. Keep it simple

If your child is having his first dentist appointment at an older age, you should make sure to keep things simple. Give your child only the basic information about the visit, as too many details will begin to raise questions about dental procedures that may sound scary or difficult. In most cases, these dental procedures will not apply to them, but the fact that the child hears about them gets them apprehensive about visits to the dentist.

3. Visit a pediatric dentist

You should take your child to a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist is well versed in handling children and making their overall experience an enjoyable one. At Lakeside Dental, our pediatric dentists go through special training to learn not just about the dental health of children, but also to learn how to handle children and how to communicate effectively with them. Our pediatric dentists make use of a child-centered dental atmosphere to help kids stay comfortable when they visit. This builds up a favorable image of the dentist's office in your child's mind and they end up looking forward to every appointment, helping them to maintain good dental health for life.

4. Let your child know the importance of dental health

Let your child know why visits to the dentist are important. You can explain the functions of the teeth, gums, and tongue and how visits to the dentist help them to stay in their best condition. Let them know that going to the dentist helps keep the teeth in good condition so that they can eat, drink and smile. When talking about dental visits to your kids, you should however try to avoid using words that might invoke fear in your child. Avoid using words such as "pain", "hurt", and "shot" when you describe dental procedures as this may make them scared of going to the dentist. Try to put a positive spin on your description of the dentist's office and dental procedures to encourage them and make the process less scary.

5. Read books and watch videos about the dentist

There are a lot of children's books that can help to prepare them for a visit to the dentist. These books will help them realize that they can have a good time at the dentist's and that visiting the dentist is good for their teeth. Some books you can read to your child include Dentist Trip (Peppa Pig) by Scholastic, The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan and Jan Berenstain, and What to Expect When You Go to the Dentist by Laura Rader. There are also a lot of kid-focused videos on YouTube that will help to introduce the dentist to your kids and allay any fears that they may have regarding a dentist's visit.

6. Play dentist

You can prepare your children for their visit to the dentist by playing a game of pretend with them. You can pretend to be the dentist while your child plays the dentist. You can play out what will happen at the dentist's visit, have them sit in a chair, poke around their mouth with a toothbrush, count their teeth, and brush and floss them. You can let them have a go at pretending to be the dentist, using a stuffed toy, or yourself as a patient. This simple act will help your child get familiar and comfortable with a real visit.

7. Do not bribe reward

Do not try to bribe your kids to get them to behave well at the dental office. This may end up sending the wrong message and backfiring. Promising your child candy if they do not cry at the dentist for example may get them wondering why a visit to the dentist can cause them to cry which will end up making them even more apprehensive about the visit. Candy after a visit to the dentist can also be contradictory to the dentist's teachings on keeping your teeth healthy. You should instead give positive reinforcement after their appointment. This can include praising them for being brave during the appointment. If things do not however go well, you should avoid scolding them and should instead stay calm and talk to your child about the visit and discuss ways to make sure that the same thing does not repeat itself.


Going to the dentist can be stressful for children and even adults. These tips are however meant to help make your child's visit to the dentist stress-free for them as well as for you. In cases where your child remains extremely apprehensive of visits to the dentist even after you have made use of all these tips, it is advised that you speak to a pediatric dentist. Although dental phobia is rare, it happens in some cases and a pediatric dentist will be able to advise you on steps to take to get rid of the fear. At Lakeside Dental, we have a team of trained pediatric dentists to help make sure your children stay relaxed and comfortable during their dental appointments.

Contact us today to learn more!