How to overcome your child’s fear of the dentist

At Bunker Hill Pediatric Dentistry in Houston, Dr. Luu and her staff understand that many kids are nervous, even scared to visit the dentist. At each visit, we strive to make everything as pleasant as can be for your child as each positive step builds trust and puts your child at ease for future visits.

Taking your child to the dentist is an important party in helping them maintain a healthy smile while promoting good oral hygiene habits. Here are some tips to try so that your child can overcome their anxiety:

Start Young

The sooner your child visits the dentist, the better. Children should first visit a pediatric dentist when their first tooth appears, between ages of 6 to 12 months and no later than age one. Kids who visit the dentist at an early age become more familiar with the experience to help put them at ease.

Be Positive

When speaking to your child about going to the dentist, be positive and keep it simple. Don’t provide your child with too many details as this will start more questions. Meanwhile, avoid saying that nothing much will happen, because in the event they might need some type of treatment, they will lose trust in both you and the dentist.  Also, do not use words that will scare your child like 'shot', 'drill' or 'pain'. Allow our staff to use our own vocabulary to helps kids feel at ease. Remind your friends and relatives not to talk negatively about seeing a dentist in front of your child as that type of talk is scary and alarming.

Don't Use Bribery

Avoid telling your child things like you'll give them a sweet treat for not fussing while at the dentist. This can send a negative message telling your child that's there is something to be upset about and it tells your child that eating sweets is OK when kids really should learn early on that sweets can cause cavities. Instead, once the visit is over, praise your child for their good behavior and maybe reward them with something non-edible like a small toy.

Feel Free to Contact Us

These tips can help ease your child's fear about visiting their Houston pediatric dentist. We're always available to speak with you, so please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.