How to Talk With Your Child About the Dentist

Children who have great experiences at the dentist are more likely to continue to seek dental care as adults and have better overall oral health. It is important to lay the foundation for these great experiences early on; even before their first visit.

A positive first impression of the dentist begins with the conversations you have with your child at home. Describing what will happen at the first visit in easy to understand and age appropriate language can help your child to feel comfortable before they arrive. Using familiar terms such as “the dentist will look at your teeth and count them” or “the dentist will brush your teeth with a special toothbrush” may help your child to know what to expect. It is best to avoid words like “shot” “needle” or “drill” which may worry your child. Our office is dedicated to making children feel at ease, so we will explain and demonstrate procedures to your child to help them understand what will happen before a procedure begins, based on the child’s ability to understand.

It may be helpful to show your child pictures of our colorful, fun, yet calming office prior to coming; as well as pictures of the doctors to help things feel more familiar. Some children may benefit from books about their favorite characters visiting the dentist.

If your child is under 2 years of age, the tone of voice you use and how you talk about the dentist may be even more helpful than the actual words you use. Remaining calm and maintaining an upbeat tone can help to put your child at ease even at this young age. Early visits can help create familiarity with the office and make future visits easier as well.

When your child visits Great Whites, we want to make them feel welcome and safe, and to know that we care about them each and every time they come. We look forward to helping your child have a lifetime of healthy smiles.