What to Do if Your Child is Afraid of Doctors & Dentists

Published Jan 16, 2017 | Updated Oct 28, 2019

Taking your children to the doctor's office crying seems to be a part of the parenting experience, right? However, though, that doesn't have to be. With these tips, you'll learn how to make it a calm event.

It is critical that you provide your child with quality medical and dental care from an early age. Doing so may help catch and correct medical or dental issues before they have an impact on his or her quality of life both as a child and an adult. However, what can you do to ease your child's mind if your son or daughter is scared of the doctor or dentist?

Many Medical Professionals Allow Parents to Stay Close

Most doctors or dentists allow parents to be in the room with their children while receiving treatment. For some, this may make it easier to sit through a physical exam or go through a routine cleaning without a lot of fear or stress. This may be especially helpful for young children who may believe that nothing bad can happen when mom or dad are present.

Medication May Calm Your Child Down

Children who are especially fearful of the doctor or dentist may be given medication to either calm them down or put them to sleep during a procedure. Typically, the child will be given a pill the night before an appointment or given laughing gas during the appointment to put them at ease. However, parents should talk with their child's doctor or dentist ahead of time to ensure that medication can be given safely and effectively.

Wait in Child-Friendly Waiting Rooms

Games, toys or other distractions may be available to children while they wait to see the doctor or pediatric dentist. If a child has to undergo a minor procedure, the medical professional performing it may take some time to explain what is about to happen. This may be done through the use of cartoons or books that put the procedure in perspective or maybe even make it seem like fun.

Talk to Your Child About His or Her Concerns

It may be a good idea to talk with your child about his or her concerns prior to an appointment. It is possible that your son or daughter is scared because of something that a classmate or an older sibling said that isn't true or was meant to intentionally scare the child. To help ease your child’s fears, make sure to visit a dentist, such as one from Schererville Family Dentistry, who is experienced with working with children.

Your child should not be scared of a doctor or dentist and should understand that they are there to help. While procedures may look scary or like they will hurt, your son or daughter should rest assured that every effort will be taken to ensure that they feel as little pain as possible.

Hannah Whittenly
By Hannah Whittenly
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