How to Put Your Nervous Child at Ease When Visiting the Dentist

Children often have fears when it comes to new, unexperienced things that separate them from their parents, such as going to the dentist. It is likely that they will grow out of these fears as they get older, but it might be difficult to teach them to cope when they’re young. Here’s what you can do as the parent of a fearful child at the dentist:

Before the Visit

Tell your child ahead of time that they have a dentist appointment coming up. Do not wait until the day of the appointment to let them know as waiting until the last minute may worsen their anxiety. Allow them to express their feelings of fear and nervousness to you. Provide straightforward answers to their questions, but limit the amount of details you give them. Remind them that the dentist can answer any questions they may have. Inform your child about the importance of healthy teeth and gums. Let the dentist know about your child’s fears as well, so they can be prepared for the visit.

During the Visit

Ask your dentist for advice. They are trained to deal with a variety of patients, so ask what you can do to help ease your child’s nerves. Bring along your child’s favorite toy or stuffed animal to keep them occupied in the waiting room. They may be allowed to hold the toy while in the dentist’s chair, but always ask the dentist for permission. Remember to keep your calm and speak gently if they have a tantrum during the appointment; it will help them feel more at ease.

Conscious Sedation

When it seems as if nothing calms your child’s fears, conscious sedation is a harmless option that will help keep them calm during a dental procedure. With this type of sedation, they will still be able to respond to verbal and physical stimuli and breathe normally without medical assistance. They will likely have no recollection of the procedure and function normally the next day. 


To prevent increasing your child’s fears of the dentist, avoid telling them about any unpleasant dental experiences you may have had or talking about the experiences in front of them, even if it is long before they ever see the dentist. Avoid telling them that any part of their experience will be painful. Last but not least, don’t give up. It may take time and patience, but they will most likely grow out of their fears. Remember to stay calm and be nurturing during those fearful moments. 

Jacksonville Dental Care

At Jacksonville Dental Care, we believe that everyone deserves a bright, clean, natural-looking smile. At Jacksonville Dental Care we have helped many patients correct years of oral neglect in just one or two comfortable and stress-free dental appointments. Contact us today!