Tips For Helping Children Deal With Anxiety About Visiting The Dentist

Visiting the dentist can be a stressful thing for any child to deal with. Often children do not understand why they need to visit the dentist. Because of this, dental work and teeth cleanings can be scary. However, it is very important to take children to the dentist even if they are anxious. One Canadian Health Measures Survey found that more than half of children between 6 and 11 years of age have or have had a cavity. This is why visiting the dentist early and developing good dental habits is important. For children who are anxious about visiting the dentist there are a few things that parents can do to help.

Communication Is Key

Communication is a very important part of helping a child with their anxiety over a visit to the dentist. Often much of the anxiety a child experiences is due to not knowing much about the dentist or being under the belief that a visit to the dentist will be scary or painful. A parent should explain what will happen during the visit to the dentist, what a dentist does, and why visiting the dentist is important. Using easy to understand and age appropriate terms when describing what will happen during the visit is also important. 

Choosing The Right Dentist

Choosing the right type of dentist also plays a big role in how a child may deal with the stress of a visit to the dentist's office. A family dentist Edmonton is often a good choice since they work with patients of all ages including children. A dentist who is able to explain dental procedures in a way that is easy for children to understand is also preferable. For children with severe anxiety, a dentist that can perform sedation dentistry may also be a good choice. Sedation techniques are often used if the anxiety makes it difficult to provide any sort of dental care.


While choosing a dentist that has experience working with children and communicating with the child before the visit can do a lot to help anxiety, often anxiety peaks during the visit itself. One great way to deal with anxiety during the visit is through distraction techniques. Having toys and books on hand while in the waiting room can help keep children from thinking about getting in the dentist's chair and what may happen while they're there. Dentists also often will enlist the help of the parents to distract their children during dental procedures. Music, television, and games can help keep a child's mind off the procedure as it is being performed. 

Regular visits to the dentist and good dental health habits are very important for children. Anxiety can make it difficult for some children to visit the dentist. However there are ways to help with this anxiety and ensure that a child is able to visit the dentist for years to come.