How To Prepare A Child For Their First Dental Treatment

pediatric dentist

Kids’ teeth can be subjected to damaging factors like sugary snacks and drinks and poor oral hygiene. Such things can lead to dental issues such as cavities, gingivitis, and teeth loss. They can also injure their teeth when biking, running, or engaging in any physical activities. In such cases, your child needs to get treatment before they cause further damage to their other developing teeth and gums. Proper treatment also helps your child achieve optimal dental health.

However, no average kid would willingly go to the dentist’s office—they may become anxious just by the thought of it, as they tend to associate it with pain. However, it’s important to instill in their minds the essence of regular dental visits.

With that in mind, here’s how to prepare your child for their first dental treatment: 

Please see the helpful infographic below for more ways you can help prepare your child for their first dental treatment and address dental anxiety they may have.

Provided by Cosmedent – supplier of dental composite products

Search For The Right Dentist 

It’d be best to find the right dentist to treat your child’s dental problems appropriately. They should have a vast knowledge of pediatric dentistry and have at least treated dozens of kids before, like Groton CT dentist Dr. Iype. You can check reviews online from parents whose kids have had teeth problems and got help from skilled and experienced dentists, then make a shortlist from where you’ll make your eventual choice. Choosing a reliable dentist enables you to get your child the proper treatment they need. 

You can also visit the doctor’s office with your child to check if the clinic is child-friendly. They should have kids’ toys, cartoon posters, a colorful reception area, and television within their premises. These would enable your child to relax and enjoy the environment. 

Discuss The Appointment With Your Child

New environments are usually scary to kids, especially the dentist’s office. If you surprise them with a treatment visit and the first things they see on the table are the dentist’s tools, they may become uncooperative throughout the session. Thus, take your time and discuss with your child that you’ll be taking them to the dentist. Also, lay out the reasons behind the visit so they can come along willingly. 

You can inform them you’re taking them to the dentist because of their dental problems, like gaps in their teeth, toothache, or discoloration starting to form on their teeth. Also, take your time to answer their questions and be candid with them. 

Inform Your Child Of The Different Tools And Treatment Options 

After discussing with your child about the upcoming appointment, it’s also important to educate them about the dentist’s tools. These include:

  • X-ray: The dentist will perform a dental x-ray on your child to check their mouth and take note of all the issues. 
  • Mouth mirror: The dentist will use a mouth mirror that lets them see every part of the mouth during examinations, helping them identify various dental problems.
  • Dental syringe: It’s used to inject local anesthesia into the gums or inner cheeks before certain treatments or procedures.
  • Anesthesia: The dentist will give your child this numbing drug so they won’t feel pain during treatment.
  • Dental drill: It’s used to remove cavities from your child’s teeth before filling the decay.

You can show your child videos or pictures of these tools so they can familiarize themselves ahead of time and ease their anxiety. 

pediatric dentist

Stay Calm

Dental procedures can also scare you as a parent, but you shouldn’t let your kids feel your worry. Maintain a positive disposition before and during the treatment and encourage your child to stay calm until the end of the appointment. You can remind them of the health and cosmetic benefits of dental treatments. For instance, you can tell them they’ll have properly aligned teeth and won’t suffer from toothaches, cavities, and tooth decay through regular dental visits.

Play Out The Dental Treatment

You can play as a dentist for your child to help them understand how their doctor will treat them. It’ll enable them to familiarize themselves with typical dental treatment procedures and, consequently, give the dentist an easier time during the session. For example, you can ask your child to open their mouth and pretend to inspect it using toy versions of the dentist’s tools. 

Ensure They Brush Their Teeth 

Before you leave the house for the appointment, ensure your child cleans their teeth thoroughly. It’ll enable the doctor to spot the problem easily. Also, you don’t want the dentist to deal with unpleasant odors.

Bring A Sibling Or Favorite Stuffed Animal Along

Your child can feel safer and less frightened when surrounded by friendly faces during the treatment. So, you can ask their sibling to come along so they can chat between examinations. Additionally, you can carry their favorite toy or stuffed animal to calm them down.


Dental treatments are essential for your child because they help eliminate dental issues such as tooth decay, bleeding gums, misaligned teeth, and discoloration. Take time to explain the importance of dental visits to your child so they feel less frightened. Also, look for a certified dentist with whom your child can get along well.