6 Tips to Help Kids Overcome Fear of Dentists

Is your child scared of going to the dentist? Follow this advice to help your little one relax before the next dental checkup.

  • – Provide the dentist with a list of any medical conditions your child has or medications he takes. Keep your pediatrician’s phone number handy, too, in case the dentists at My Scottsdale Dentist needs additional health information.
  • – If your child has a sucking habit, be it thumb, pacifier, or bottle, let your Scottsdale dentist know, as it may affect your child’s teeth and jaw. Also, be aware that sleeping with a bottle of milk or juice can cause tooth decay. “During sleep, liquids in the mouth — which are full of sugar and bacteria — pool around the teeth and erode them,” says Dr. Poulos.
  • Talk to your child about what’s going to happen. Practice brushing with your child beforehand, too, so she will be used to having a toothbrush in her mouth.

What to Expect

1. Meeting and Greeting


  1. “To make sure your child feels comfortable, formally introduce him to the dentist on his first visit,” says Steven Poulos, D.D.S. A good children’s dentist will explain each step of the checkup with your child, show him the tools he’ll be using, and assure him that he can sit on Mommy’s or Daddy’s lap and stop any procedure if he’s nervous.


2. Learning the Facts

Using models, an oversize brush, and “cavity creep” finger  puppets , the dentists at My Scottsdale Dentist will show your child how to brush with your help. “A dentist may also explain how the cavity creeps come out at night to harm teeth and how eating nutritious meals and drinking plenty of water keeps teeth healthy,” says Dr. Poulos. He’ll also use this time to address your questions and concerns.

3. Mastering the Machinery

Because the spitting cup may make some scary sucking noises, the dentist will show your child how it works and how to spit into it properly. Then he’ll put on a mask and gloves to count your child’s teeth, using the model — or you — to demonstrate before putting his fingers in your childs mouth.

4. Cleaning and Polishing

Next, the Scottsdale Kids dentist will polish your child’s teeth with a rotary toothbrush. “Make sure the staff provides him with goggles or  sunglasses  to protect his eyes in case a tool slips or toothpaste sprays,” says Dr. Poulos. Letting the child see and hear the brush before it’s placed in his mouth helps put him at ease.

5. Finishing Touches

As with the other procedures he performs, your North Scottsdale dentist will show your child how the sucking straw works before he uses it to remove extra toothpaste and saliva. As a final step, the dentist may apply a coat of topical fluoride. “I always ask the parent if it’s okay to use fluoride,” says Dr. Poulos, “but the research shows that periodic fluoride treatments prevent decay.” A child should not eat or drink for 30 minutes after a treatment.

 6. Picking a Prize

Stickers, finger puppets, crayons, key chains — the more varied the grab bag, the better. “Prizes are a wonderful way to get kids to think the dentist’s office is a fun place,” says Dr. Poulos. You may want to let your child pick a prize during the cleaning if he seems nervous. But if he gets genuinely upset, “he may not be ready for his first visit,” says Dr. Poulos. “In that case, cut it short and try again in a few months.”

Follow these tips to put your child on the road to a bright, healthy smile! Call us today at  480-614-1122