Department of Dentistry Preparing Your Child

LIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke This

Preparing your childpreparing a child for the dentist, Boston Childrens Hospital

A visit to the dentist can cause anxiety and stress in children. To ease their fears we recommend the following:

  • Read books about the dentist with them.

  • Watch dental related videos.

  • Talk about the upcoming visit.

  • Be relaxed while discussing the visit with your child. Any anxiety or unease on your part will be sensed by your child.

  • Do not use words that might frighten them (drill, hurt, needle or pull.)

  • Avoid statements like "the doctor won't hurt you."

The following are possible descriptions that you can give your child as to what will happen at the dental visit:

  • We are going to see a doctor who counts teeth, the dentist.

  • When you get there the dentist's helper (dental assistant) will show you a special chair and a camera that takes pictures of your teeth.

  • Then the dentist will tickle your teeth and count them.

Preparing your child with special needs 

Special needs children visit dentistSome special needs children, such as children with autism, use visual cues on a regular basis. If this is the case, please use this technique to prepare the child for their dental visit.

It is helpful to bring the child's toothbrush and toothpaste to their first dental appointment. This allows our clinicians to start with a known object, which may decrease the child's anxiety.

If caregivers have some concerns resulting from past dental care, please ask to speak to the clinician. If you know who will be seeing your child, you can call a couple of days prior to the appointment to discuss your concerns with the dentist.

 

How our dental team calms anxious children

The best way to handle an anxious child is to build trust and confidence. The Department of Dentistry tries to do this through various methods. Many times our staff will explain to the child what is being done and will show them an example before performing a procedure.

For example, if a child is having a cleaning, the dentist will show them how they are going to "tickle" their teeth by first tickling their finger.

Another way that our staff builds trust and confidence is through praise. When children do something well, such as following directions while taking X-rays, we tell them what a great job they have done.

Suggested Resources

show_more_start

Books


Videos

show_more_end

Request an Appointment

If this is a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1. This form should not be used in an emergency.

Patient Information
Date of Birth:
Contact Information
Appointment Details
Send RequestIf you do not see the specialty you are looking for, please call us at: 617-355-6000.International visitors should call International Health Services at +1-617-355-5209.
Please complete all required fields

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

Thank you.

Your request has been successfully submitted

You will be contacted within 1 business day.

If you have questions or would like more information, please call:

617-355-6000 +1-617-355-6000
close
Find a Doctor
Search by Clinician's Last Name or Specialty:
Select by Location:
Search by First Letter of Clinician's Last Name: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
More optionsSearch
Condition & Treatments
Search for a Condition or Treatment:
Show Items Starting With: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
View allSearch
Visitor Information
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
Close