Dental Pediatrics: Make the Dentist a Fun Place to Go for Your Kids

Does your child freak out at the thought of going to the dentist? Do you struggle to even get your child into the dentist's chair? You might have an easier time by choosing a pediatric dentist.

Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?

A dentist who specializes in dental pediatrics will take measures to make the dental office inviting for children. This means your child might see whimsical characters painted on the walls, appropriate children's movies playing in the waiting room—and possibly in each examination room—and children's books and games to keep your kids occupied while waiting.

All of these features help reduce stress by keeping your child distracted and preoccupied. The whimsical appearance of a dental pediatric office make it look more like a theme park than a dentist's office, which can help get your child excited about going to the dentist.

Stay with your child when he goes to get his teeth cleaned. Sometimes it can feel too overwhelming for your child to go through a dental cleaning or a dental procedure on her own, especially if he has never had one before. Some dentists will even let your child sit on your lap while you lay back on the chair throughout the cleaning. This can further help reduce the stress for your child. It is important to check with your pediatric dentist regarding their guidelines for patient appointments and how they feel if a parent should be in the dental operatory depending on the child's age and behavior during the appointment.

Prepare for Your Visit

If you don't know what to expect when going to a pediatric dentist, watch a few videos with your child that will prepare you both for your visit. For example, watch "Your Child's Dental Visits" at, which will explain what the pediatric dentist will do, and will show some of the features a pediatric dentist's office will have. At Colgate, you can also find out a few helpful tips that you can do ahead of time to make your visits shorter and easier.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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What To Expect During a DENTAL VISIT

On your first visit, your dentist will take a full health history. On follow-up visits, if your health status has changed, make sure to tell your dentist. Here’s what you can expect during most trips to the dentist.

  • A Thorough Cleaning – a dental hygienist or dentist will scrape along and below the gum line to remove built-up plaque and tartar that can cause gum disease, cavities, bad breath and other problems. Then he or she will polish and floss your teeth.

  • A Full Dental Examination – your dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and mouth, looking for signs of disease or other problems.

  • X-Rays – X-rays can diagnose problems otherwise unnoticed, such as damage to jawbones, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts or tumors, and decay between the teeth.