What to do when your child has dental anxiety – 7 Tips to tackle it

Child Dental Anxiety

Children have so many anxieties and fears. At night, they have fear of the dark. At the morning, they have the fear of going back to school. Well, these fears are normal and acceptable. As they grow up, these fears go away gradually, in most cases. But children don’t grow up suddenly, and parents face a tough challenge while teaching kids about the various ways to combat these fears.

One of the most common fears that many children have is ‘dental fear’. In simple words, it means dental anxiety or dental phobia. Sometimes, it becomes a Herculean task for parents to take their children to a dentist even when they can’t sleep at night due to toothache.

What is dental anxiety and how to deal with it?

Dental anxiety is nothing but the fear of visiting a dentist and going through dental treatments. Around 20% of school kids have this anxiety, and it becomes a big challenge for both the parent and the dentist to help the child. The biggest problem with this type of anxiety is that it can harm a child’s dental health. It can stop many children from getting proper dental care at the right time.

So, what will you do as a parent if your child has dental anxiety? Will you let your child suffer in pain or will you do something to ease his/her dental fear?

I am sure you’ll choose the second option, the logical one. In that case, let’s discuss some tips to remove dental fear from the minds of your kids and help them to have big white teeth.

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1. Talk about the upcoming dental visit

Inform your child about the upcoming dental visit a few days before visiting the dentist. Children need some time to mentally prepare for the dreaded visit even though you’re consulting the best dentist in Kolkata or Mumbai or Chennai or New Delhi. Don’t tell kids about the dental visit when you’re driving to the dental clinic. It can create tremendous mental pressure on the child and aggravate the anxiety.

2. Give short and crisp answers to questions

Be prepared to get various types of questions from your kids before the appointment. Give short and crisp answers. Don’t go into too many details as you might end up saying a few things that may scare your child. Tell your kid that the dentist is not a monster. Rather, he is a friendly dentist who can help to keep teeth and gum healthy.

3. Have a talk with your dentist beforehand

Call your dentist and inform him that your child has dental anxiety. Ask him to explain the entire dental procedure in a simple way so that your child feels comfortable. A good dentist can play a big role in removing the ‘dental fear’ of your child. Ask him about the ways to put your child at ease. Dentists have vast experience in dealing with children. So they know how to deal with children in the best possible way.

4. Carry your kid’s favorite toy

Toys can be a good distraction from the new environment in the dentist’s clinic. Let your child play with his favorite toy so that he doesn’t have time to think about dental treatment.

5. Stay calm when your child shows tantrums

Sometimes, children have a panic attack after entering the dentist’s clinic. They show tantrums to get out of the clinic as soon as possible. Stay calm and speak gently to your children. Inform them that there is nothing to be afraid of. Engage your children in a friendly conversation. Give them a riddle to solve so that they forget the dental procedure for the time being. Tell them interesting stories so that they are pleasantly distracted. You can also ask them to solve mental maths.

Don’t give up. You need to stay patient to help your frightened children.

6. Shower compliments on them abundantly

Who doesn’t love to receive compliments and children are no exception. Compliments make you feel good. They help to boost your morale. Shower compliments and applaud children for overcoming their fear. Give them a good prize for behaving exceedingly well with the dentist. These things can make a huge impact on their minds. Even though your children have dental anxiety, they will put up a brave face just to win that prize.

7. Avoid talking about painful experiences

Did you ever have a painful dental experience? Avoid talking about them in front of your children. Sometimes, parents forget what they are discussing with their dentist in front of children, and that creates a huge problem later. These stories aggravate dental phobia of children. So always talk about your good experiences.

Don’t use words like ‘hurts’, ‘pain’, and ‘injection’. These words will make your children scared of dental treatments.


Parent and the dentist have a crucial role to play when it comes to dealing with children having dental phobia. The dentist should guide parents properly so that children don’t hesitate to visit the clinic. Parents should also follow the instruction of the dentist with full sincerity. Both of them should work as a team to alleviate the mental stress of the children.

Try to consult a child-friendly dentist who is experienced in dealing with young kids. Dentists should treat children like soft petals of a flower. If your dentist is doing nothing to alleviate your child’s fear, then it’s time to consult another dentist in your city.

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