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Understanding Your Child’s Fear Of The Dentist & What You Can Do, Part Two

Young boy smiling - Pediatric Dentist in Henderson ad Las Vegas NV

We are back with another pediatric dental blog here at Anthem Pediatric Dentistry, your Top Rated Local pediatric dentist in Las Vegas. With two family dental office locations (one in Henderson and one in Charleston), we are a short drive away for the vast majority of patients who are within a reasonable vicinity.

But convenience is far from the only virtue we possess. We are committed to providing the utmost in dental services for children, providing the highest quality of care in pediatric dentistry for adolescents and children. We also specialize in providing care for patients with special health care needs, so don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions regarding that.

What’s more, everything we do is rooted in open communication, compassion, and ensuring we offer the most advanced techniques and procedures. If you are in need of a trustworthy children’s dentist in Las Vegas, we’ve got the experience, passion, and care you and your family can count on!

Fear Of The Dentist

As the title of this blog already gave away, we are in the midst of a two-part series on helping our readers understand dental fear, as it were, and what role they can play in helping their child get over any nervousness or anxiety that exists.

In part one, we discussed the fact that being a parent is far from easy, so we want to be clear that we are in no way judging anyone when we add our two cent’s worth of advice on the matter of helping children get over their fear of the dentist. After that disclaimer, we highlighted a few ways in which we’ve done our best to make the environment at Anthem Pediatric Dentistry a comforting one.

For instance, parents are always welcome to stay with their child during every dental visit, we treat children with a lot of patience, and the fact that we will always be candid and honest with you when discussing treatment options for your child. Ultimately, we want to empower you, the parent, to make the best choice for your daughter or son.

Finally, we touched on how pervasive dental phobia actually is. Between five and ten percent of American adults have dental phobia, but around 80 percent of Americans report some level of anxiety when going to the dentist. However, Mayank, Kakkar, and others found that 42 percent of all children ages 10-14 had dental fear of some kind.

The good news is that the data showed dental fear scores tended to decrease as age and experience at the dentist increased.


The meat and potatoes of today’s blog has to do with what parents can and should do (and not do!) to ensure their child gets over any fear they might have in the best way possible. That said, let’s dive in!


One of the best, and easiest, things the parent of a child can do before their first dentist appointment is to arrange a pre-appointment meeting. It doesn’t have to take too long, as a few minutes should be plenty, because simply giving a face to the name of the new dentist might help take some of the doubt away from your child. The very act of going to the office, meeting the staff, and just getting the lay of the land could do wonders for your child.

For our part at Anthem Pediatric Dentistry, our dental staff would love if you came in for a quick meet and greet! It’s the best way to foster a comfortable, long-term relationship to ensure your child’s oral health for years to come!


One of the most important ways you can help is to make sure your child isn’t picking up any “fear signals” from the way you talk about the dentist. You might not even realize that you are doing it,  but the words you use can dramatically impact the way your child thinks about the dentist — before having ever been there in the first place!

That’s why we can’t encourage you enough to avoid using words such as “shot,” “hurt,” or “pain.” Your children are perceptive and they’ll pick up on that very quickly. They’ll also pick up on any positive framing you can achieve, perhaps by using words like “clean,” “healthy,” or any other uplifting word we can’t think of at the moment!

If you use kid-friendly terms when referring to typical dental issues (ask us for help if you need it), it will set you and your child up for success. So instead of talking about “tooth decay” or “cavities,” think about using words like “sugar bugs” to describe the importance of oral care. You got this!


Let’s talk about the appointment itself. Well, you are probably nervous yourself, seeing as how you are doing research on the matter in the first place. We want you to know that that is normal and understandable, not to mention that it shows how much you care. But it’s also an emotion we want you to do your best to curb seeing as how your child might notice and model such anxiety.

Here’s a few things you can do, rather than feeling helpless watching:

  • Listen to your dentist, ask them for advice, and then follow their instructions. Our dental staff has been trained to help children in particular, with years of experience and education to deal with a variety of situations. In other words, this isn’t our first rodeo!
  • Bring your child’s favorite toy, assuming they are in the age range where this tactic would be effective. The toy can be a calming distraction.
  • Stay calm, always. Even if you get concerned about a situation, how your child reacts, or even what the dentist is doing, things will always be better when you stay calm in front of your child. At Anthem, you don’t have to worry about any surprises, however, as we make a point to always keep our parents in the loop!


Visit The Top Children’s Dentist In Las Vegas

We’d love to hear from you and show you our level of quality and care, rather than merely tell you about in blog format. With six board-certified pediatric dentists on staff, a dedicated pediatric orthodontist, affordable rates, and a wealth of glowing reviews, there’s more than one great reason to choose Anthem Pediatric Dentistry! At the end of the day, however, the best one of them all remains the fact that we put the needs of your child before all else.

Give us a call at your convenience to schedule your appointment.

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