Although many parents know how important pediatric dental care is for their child’s overall health, the reality is that one in five children in the U.S. go without dental care. While there are many reasons why many children don’t receive the dental care they need and deserve, there is a common reason why many adults avoid going to the dentist: anxiety.

Fear of the dentist is relatively pervasive, but it doesn’t have to be that way for your child. Of course, many children fear unfamiliar situations — so it might be easy for them to feel overwhelmed during that first pediatric dentist visit. However, you can do your part to prepare them for this appointment and help them feel comfortable, relaxed, and ready to brush.

How to Quell Anxieties Before a First Pediatric Dentist Visit

  • Schedule the appointment in the morning to avoid afternoon meltdowns
  • Let your child know about their appointment in advance
  • Help your child know what to expect during their pediatric dental exam
  • Keep explanations simple and maintain a positive attitude
  • Stress the importance of keeping their teeth healthy and how their kids dentist will help
  • Ensure their first visit happens as early as recommended to stave off fears
  • Give your child something to look forward to after their appointment
  • Play pretend and count their teeth to prepare
  • Get your child comfortable with brushing and flossing at home
  • Do not bring your child along to your own dental appointment
  • Put aside any negative feelings you have about the dentist when talking to or around your child
  • Bring along a comforting toy from home to their first pediatric dentist visit
  • Find a dentist who is adept at conversing with children

Ultimately, most children won’t have an inherent fear of the dentist unless you add to those anxieties yourself. By having an age-appropriate conversation with your child that helps them know what to expect without prompting too many questions, you’ll set them up for a successful first meeting with their dentist.

That said, it’s best for your child if you find a well-respected and experienced pediatric dentist in your area. Whether your kiddo is shy around strangers or you simply want them to have the best experience possible, it pays to find a dentist who can check all the boxes. To learn more about our practice or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.

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