Fear of the dentist is a common issue that both children and adults face. Unfortunately, it’s also an often overlooked problem that is not addressed properly in the dental office. When we ignore a child’s anxiety and nervousness at the dentist’s office, we create a negative relationship to oral hygiene that can inadvertently cause the child to avoid the dentist and neglect their dental health.
Because pediatric dentists are trained to understand the way children communicate verbally and non-verbally, they can tell if your child is terrified of the dentist. Pediatric dentists will slowly work to gain your child’s trust and educate your child about the necessity of dental health. Taking the time to make your child feel comfortable in the dentist’s chair will go a long way for their dental health in the future. Being afraid of the dentist is not a big deal unless it goes ignored.
While your pediatric dentist and staff will do everything in their power to help your child achieve strong, healthy teeth, you are your child’s biggest influence! Being a positive role model in dental health will teach your child how to care for their teeth.
There are many things you can do to show your child that the pediatric dentist’s office is a friendly, safe place. Books are a terrific way to show your child why the dentist is important and how to behave in the dentist’s chair. Your child can read along and visualize how their own appointment will be. Below are our top picks for books about going to the dentist!
We love the Berenstain Bears series because it’s about a relatable, fuzzy, friendly family that goes through the same problems we do! In this edition, Sister Bear is nervous about having a baby tooth removed. After she watches Dr. Bearson fill Brother Bear’s cavity, however, she realizes there is nothing to fear.
We love the cute illustrations of dental treatments in this book. You can identify tooth parts and dental tools from the book, so your child is familiar with them at the dental office, too. This way, they understand that the scary-looking tools are actually not so mysterious. They serve a purpose!
This is an excellent picture book for kids between the ages of 3 and 8. There’s also an adapted television series you can show your child if they really love the story as well!
In this humorous, colorfully illustrated story, a crocodile must visit the dentist. Naturally, the dentist is quite scared of meeting a crocodile, but ironically, the crocodile is also afraid of the dentist! Your child will learn about what goes on at the dentist’s office and how to practice regular dental care afterward. They will see that there is nothing to be afraid of at the friendly pediatric dentist’s office.
A great activity to do after reading this book is let your child perform dental operations on one of their stuffed animals. Grab a stuffed croc or bear and have your child examine its teeth. This will make the dentist a lot less scary.
Dora is always going on interesting adventures in the wild, but this time, she needs to go to the dentist for a checkup. There, she explores the office, gets her teeth cleaned, and even earns a special reward for being a great patient!
We love this book because Dora is an excellent role model for kids.She’s super eager to learn more about the dentist and dental health. After reading this book, treat your child’s visit the dentist as an adventure. Ask them to identify things like the dental chair or toothbrush. When you turn the dental clinic into a game, it’s much more appealing. Last but not least, we love that this book teaches children a little Spanish, too.
Who better to teach your child about the dentist than the world’s most beloved British pig? In this book, Peppa Pig takes her little brother George to the dentist for the first time. He’s hesitant to get into the dentist’s chair at first, but once he sees how easy Peppa Pig’s appointment is, he is happy to cooperate. We like how these two siblings support and care for each other and we love how they portray the dentist in a positive light. If your kids aren’t fans of Peppa Pig, they will be after this heartwarming story!
Even if your child doesn’t love going to the dentist, they should know that it’s no big deal. It may not be Disneyland, but it at least won’t hurt.
Just Going to the Dentist perfectly embodies that sentiment. Little Critter needs to the dentist for a checkup, complete with dental x-rays. Dr. Ghum uncovers a small cavity that needs to be filled and Little Critter braces himself for the procedure just to find out that it’s actually quick, easy, and painless.
This is a cute, candid depiction of how many little kids feel at the pediatric dentist. If your child has a sore tooth, a cavity may be the culprit. After reading this book, they’ll want to be just as brave as Little Critter for their filling.
Every child looks forward to losing that first wobbly, wiggly, loose tooth, so they can get a visit from the tooth fairy. As children get older, however, they may start to wonder why they even have baby teeth at all. Why take care of teeth that are just going to fall out? Will losing a tooth be painful?
In this creative story about different kids who are going through the process of losing their teeth, your child will start to understand the lifecycle of their teeth and what purpose baby teeth serve. Hopefully, this book motivates your child to take care of their primary teeth, too!
Unlike most books, this one comes with a fun, interactive section. There is a huge poster of an open mouth that comes with stickers of tooth shaped stickers. Your child can stick these teeth in the mouth as they start growing their permanent teeth in!
Overcoming fear of the dentist requires a lot of love and support. Remember never to shame your child for how they feel as it can lead to a traumatic experience at the dentist. Instead, encourage your child to talk openly about their feelings. Our pediatric dentist can definitely help you with this process. There’s no reason to be afraid of someone who is only trying to help! Give us a call if you’d like to book an appointment at with our children’s dentist in Katy at Kids Healthy Teeth.