Does your little one get nervous at the dentist office? If so, you’re not alone. A lot of children suffer from dental anxiety. Don’t worry though your dentist has a whole box full of tools at his/her disposal to help your little one have the most positive experience they can have. Apart from the actual dental work helping your child to have a positive dental experience is on the top of your dentist’s list. Here are a few tools your dentist may use to help this be a great experience for all involved. 

  • Explaining what is going to happen in simple non-scary terms

    • Getting tooth numb = making the tooth go to sleep with sleepy juice
    • Cotton rolls in mouth = tooth clouds
    • Bite blocks = pillow for teeth
    • Dental handpiece = Mr. Bumpy, cleans teeth by spraying them with water
  • Distractions

    • TV’s on ceiling
    • Listening to music
    • Playing games; counting things with assistant while dentist is working
    • Toys or other objects placed in child’s hands
  • Nitrous Oxide

Also known as Laughing Gas, this helps to relax the patient

  • Lap-to-Lap appointments.

This works better with smaller and younger patients. You and the dentist will sit knee to knee while you are holding your child in your lap facing you. Once the child is comfortable you will lay them down so that their head is in the dentist’s lap and he/she can have a good look from that angle. 

  • Knowing limitations

This can go both ways, knowing the child’s limitations of when they are “just done” and the dentist knowing his/her own limitations. Sometimes this means not completely all work at one appointment and breaking it up into smaller appointments. It can also mean that maybe a visit to a pediatric dentist is in everyone’s best interest. Pediatric dentists specialize in working with children and have more resources at their disposal such as child sedation techniques.