How to Calm Children at the Dentist

Stensland Dental StudioPediatric DentistryLeave a Comment

It’s time to take your child to the dentist. Don’t panic! We know this is a daunting task. The staff at Stensland Dental Studio is here to help. We do our best to reduce anxiety in all our patients, especially our smallest ones. Positive childhood experiences at the dentist’s office can reinforce healthy dental habits that continue into adulthood, and we want your child to grow up to be healthy!

To help ensure a great visit (and make them want to come back), we’ve put together the following dos and don’ts for parents.


  • Tell your child that seeing the dentist is a part of good, healthy habits.
  • Explain that everything we do is for her health.
  • Remind your child of the appointment the day before and express how excited you are to take him/her.
  • Explain to your child that sometimes people get cavities even if he/she has done everything right.
  • If your child needs a procedure, remind him/her that the dentist went to a special school to learn how to fix teeth

The day before the visit, let your child know that he/she will be going to the dentist the next morning. If your child asks a specific question, reply with, “That’s a great question; you should ask Dr. Steve at your appointment.” This encourages your child to interact and build trust with Dr. Steve.

It’s beneficial to get your child into the dentist’s office at a young age. We recommend starting at age one to get them familiar with the environment (we call this a “happy” visit). By age three, after a few “happy visits”, your child will be comfortable enough to allow us to clean and treat his/her teeth.


Try to avoid telling your child any of the following things before his/her appointment:

  • The dentist will hurt.
  • The dentist will give you a shot.
  • The dentist will yank out your teeth.
  • Fluoride tastes terrible.
  • I hate going to the dentist.

While joking with your child can be fun, negative teasing builds anxiety. To reduce your child’s stress, it’s important to reassure your child that the visit to the dentist is routine and a part of good dental health.

We advise avoiding words like shot, drill, pull, yank or any other negative words when talking about the dentist. We use words that are pleasant and unintimidating to make sure your child is comfortable with the treatments he/she receives.

Also, you should tell your child that we have a fun playroom with trains, puzzles, video games, mega blocks, and other toys. Make your child excited to see us!

Once your child is in our office, we handle the rest. We take pride in ensuring our patients have a positive, comfortable experience, even in the most stressful procedures! If you have any questions about your child’s first or next visit to our office, give us a call at (757) 645-4055 or send us an email by clicking here. We look forward to seeing you and your child soon!

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