How to help a child who's afraid to go to the dentist


It’s very important to take your child to the dentist regularly. But going to the dentist can be scary for children. These ideas may help your child feel less afraid:

  • Tell the dentist ahead of time that your child may be anxious. Ask him or her to explain things to your child.

  • Go into the treatment room with your child.

  • Use distraction. Tell your child to look at something in the office or to think about something fun.

  • Offer your child earphones to listen to music with and play his or her favorite songs.

  • Praise your child for behaving well at the dentist’s office.



“Medline Plus: Child Dental Health.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, September 7, 2008. Accessed 2013.

“Calming the Anxious Child.” American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Accessed 2013.

“Anxiety.” Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. Accessed 2013.

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