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How can I help my son not be afraid of going to the dentist?

I have a five year old son & just last month my husband & I took him for his annual eye exam as well as for his check-up w/his teeth. He did pretty well w/the eye doctor but when it came time for the dentist to brush his teeth he became so terrified all he did was cry and yell until he threw up! I admit, it wasn't what i was expecting him to do. Even my husband couldn't console him he was so upset! So I need so helpful advice and suggestions from my cafemom family out there that have gone through this w/ their own children. I would be forever grateful for whatever you guys suggest. Thanks a bunch!

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Asked by Magnolia96 at 9:20 PM on May. 4, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (7)
  • I take my kids to a pediatric dentist in the next town over. They have video games, big screen TV's, balloons, and all kinds of cool stuff! The first visit is always a "happy visit" where the kids get a tour and they meet all the staff and they play games and stuff. Then when you set up your real visit, the kids don't seem to be as scared.

    Ours is:

    if you have a dentist like this anywhere near you, it may be worth a longer drive to get to them. I will drive my kids over an hour to get to pediatric specialist since where I live there aren't any.

    Answer by VeronicaLee at 9:32 PM on May. 4, 2009

  • I worked for a dentist for 15 years and we saw lots of kids of all ages. If he's that scared wait a year. Maybe by the time he's 6, when they will want to take his first xrays, he'll do better. And I would talk about it alot, how it's fun to go get your teeth "polished up all shiny". Some kids just get totally freaked out by having all the hands in the mouth and instruements to boot! Did they at least get to do an exam? And if so, if he had no probs, I would just wait. No need to push it. You'll just make him fear it more. Now you could go the same route as VeronciaLee and go see a pediatric dentist, but I would research it alot because a lot of pediatric dentists will not let you be in the room, and might strap him to a papoose board, and maybe want to sedate him a little. That's a lot for a little guy to handle. He will get better at handling it. Just give Lots and Lots of positive reinforcement. Maybe let him go with

    Answer by GMR at 9:42 PM on May. 4, 2009

  • cont you when you get your teeth cleaned so he can see how it's done etc. and that you lived thru it!! ha ha. If the dentist you see now is the type to just keep going and making your son take it, switch dentists. There is always a better and easier way to get it done. It just takes patience. Good luck. I worked on many a child who was totally scared and freaked out. But if you take your time and explain things, and be gentle and never scolding, you can work on ANY childs teeth.

    Answer by GMR at 9:45 PM on May. 4, 2009

  • Next time you have a cleaning, start counting down (like 2 weeks before), act all happy and excited, be happy and jumping up and down the day it comes, and come home with a balloon. Show him you're bag of free stuff (my dentist always give me a bunch of floss, toothbrushes and toothpaste samples.) Have son inspect teeth to see how great they look.

    Then, do the same countdown and exciting stuff for him when it's time. When he's done, get him a balloon, and hopefully he'll get a bag of free stuff as well.

    LOL Good luck!

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:40 PM on May. 4, 2009

  • If all else fails. Bribe.
    Offer him a bit of money... enough to buy a small toy or something.. but only if he does well at his visit and doesn't cry or yell. If he does, deal's off- no money.

    Worked for my son when he had to get his school shots.

    Answer by Gremlyn at 6:18 AM on May. 5, 2009

  • play dentis at home alot so he knows exactly what to expect and see if you can find a perdiatric dentis they have smaller chairs and lots of bright colors its not so scary and my dentist eaven allowed parrents in the room if you wanted them there. and make sure you go to the dentist or vv talk about teeth alot once he sees mommy and daddy are not afraid then he might not be so afraid either

    Answer by jajamama at 6:58 AM on May. 5, 2009

  • I work at a pediatric dentist office. I think the best thing you can do is explain to your child exactly what will be taking place. Inform the office of your child's anxiety. Then they can explain everything you him before doing anything. Also make the appointments in the morning because children tend to be more agreeable then. We see tons of children who are afraid. Also you could have him watch another child first.

    Answer by ajw05703 at 11:38 AM on May. 5, 2009

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