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Tips For Patients With Children Terrified Of The Dentist

Posted on October 28, 2021

The loves of our lives are our children. They are the most important people in our lives. Now it’s time for them to go to the dentist and they are freaking out. Suddenly these lovely little people are driving us crazy. Twenty percent of all children in the USA have a fear of the dentist. Did they inherit this from us? What can we do to ameliorate their anxiety?

Tips to Avoid Dental Anxiety in Children

  1. Start their first appointment at the office when they are young ( about one year old).
  2. Drop by the office before the day of the appointment so that your child can familiarize themselves with the office. This way no work is being done, just a very pleasant experience.
  3. Read stories and explain about visiting the dentist.
  4. Don’t use negative language. For example, saying “This won’t hurt”. Your child hears only the word “Hurt”. Use the term “sugar bugs instead of cavities”. Use positive words, i.e. the dentist will make your teeth “stronger, healthier, whiter, brighter” etc.
  5. Practice at home. Have your child look in a mirror in the bathroom and stand behind him. Use the technique of “Show, Tell and Do”, i..e have them count their teeth, make their tongue wiggle, make them laugh and have fun. Then using positive words tell them how you brush their teeth. And then a gentle brush!
  6. Don’t complicate things. When your child asks a question about her dental visit, keep it simple, succinct. and pleasant.
  7. Don’t bribe them with gifts because this will unconsciously instill fear as to their upcoming visit.
  8. Be a role model. Bring them to your appointment ahead of theirs. You must be devoid of anxiety, otherwise your child will pick up on your negative energy.
  9. Use rewards
  10. Be patient and understanding. Hold their hand if necessary, back off when appropriate, make it fun, do not transfer your own anxiety and fears.
  11. Portray dentist as a kind loving person. Have your child make a painting that we can hang on the wall.
  12. Create a tranquil and stress free environment.
  13. Read books, watch videos about going to the dentist.
  14. Use a pediatric dentist who specializes in treating children. For severe anxiety, we can use nitrous oxide as a sedative. Dentists can use other medications and techniques (psychological) to insure a pleasant visit.

Schedule an Appointment with 209 NYC Dental

Going to the dentist can elicit fear in adults and children. It is critical that any negative thoughts that we have about dental treatment not be passed on to our children. We must allay the common misconceptions about the noise of the drill, getting an injection, and the dental environment as a whole. Jokes from comedians, anxious relatives, and other children’s stress must be dealt with or avoided before your child’s visit.  You, the parents and We, the dentists must work in concert with one another to reduce any negative feelings that your child may have and turn them into a positive experience. Please make a “get acquainted – first visit” for your child at 209 NYC Dental. There will be no actual work performed; rather we will be laying the foundation of building mutual trust between your child and our office.


About Dr. Steven Kafko

Guided by the belief that being a highly skilled specialist in a narrow field is better than being ordinary in everything Dr. Kafko has grown 209 NYC Dental into one of the leading NYC multi-specialty dental practices that it is today. Having extensive cross-specialty training with decades of experience, and strive to provide his patients with the most appropriate dental care Dr. Kafko succeeded in becoming an excellent diagnostic dentist. His skills to triage the most comprehensive dental treatment that a patient may require are highly appreciated by patients and his colleagues.

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