Close Close
Mother and Baby

How To Prepare Your Child For A Trip To The Dentist

How to reassure and familiarise your toddler with the dentist’s chair so she knows what to expect on D-day

While we’re all guilty of prioritising absolutely anything at all over a dreaded dentist check-up (gulp), appointments at your toddler’s age are really just about making sure everything’s progressing OK – and they give you a chance to ask any questions about looking after her teeth.

If she’s nervous about the visit, add these tasks to your to-do list.

Take her with you

Bring your child to your own check-ups so she gets used to what happens – although maybe not if you’re in for a heavy-duty root canal.

‘You don’t want to frighten her, but a general appointment can familiarise her with the sounds and smells,’ says Karen Coates, dental advisor for The British Dental Health Foundation.

Get reading

Browse Amazon for books like Freddie Visits the Dentist (definitely not as sinister as it sounds…) to introduce the idea to your toddler.

‘Most libraries also have titles about this using child friendly characters,’ says Karen.

Book a tour

Phone the surgery and see if a dental assistant has time for you to come in with your toddler before his check-up.

See if a dental assistant has time for you to come in with your toddler

‘They can show him things like the water spray and how the chair works, so nothing’s a surprise,’ says Karen.

Make her comfortable

When the big day arrives, gauge how your toddler feels – so if she wants to sit on your lap in the chair, that’s totally fine.

‘Most dentists will also let kids have a look in the mirror and things like that,’ explains Karen. ‘At the end of the day, they want her to be as happy as possible.’

Use positive language

If your child’s having treatment, certain language may help her feel more relaxed.

‘Realistically, most children know what injections are, but it may be good to call it “cream” or “liquid” and say something like it “makes your tooth go to sleep so we can get the bugs out”,’ suggests Karen.

Change companion

If you feel flustered, your toddler may pick up on that. ‘If you think it might be better for her to go with someone else, perhaps dad or another relative, then do consider that,’ says Karen.

Really struggling? It’s no problem to reschedule.

What are your dentist tips for kids? Let us know on the comments board below.

Related content:


No comments have been made yet.

Chinese Gender predictor
Chinese Gender Predictor

Is it a boy or a girl? Tell our tool the month you concieved and how old you are and find out! 

Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby
Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby

Read Dr Pixie's guide to learn how to deal with nappy rash

The Magic Sleepsuit
The secret to a quiet night’s sleep – The Magic Sleepsuit

If you’re little one is struggling to settle now they’ve outgrown the swaddling stage, this could be the answer to your sleep-deprived prayers!

Celebrating parenting's small wins
Celebrating parenting's small wins

As mums, we're constantly told to enjoy every moment; in reality, parenting can sometimes be challenging. That's where small wins come in...

Subscribe to Mother&Baby

Be the best mum you can be and let Mother & Baby guide you along the way. Each issue is jam packed with REAL advice from mums just like you. Subscribe today & get a free welcome gift!

Ovulation Calculator
Ovulation calculator
Trying for a baby? Work out when you're most fertile to increase your chances of getting pregnant with our easy-to-use ovulation calculator.
Pregnant woman
Due Date Calculator

When is your baby due? If you’re having trouble remembering dates and counting up the days on your fingers and toes, don’t worry – use our due date calculator.

Get M&B in your inbox!

Sign up to Mother&Baby today and get news and advice about your body and your baby straight to your inbox every week. 

Lemonade Money
It’s time to make sure your loved ones are protected

Every parent knows the importance of planning ahead; from the new school shoes, to your little one’s education, you want to fill their future with hopes and dreams. Yet are you one of the 80% of adults here in the UK that has no life cover?