Tips for Managing Children’s and Teens’ Dental Phobia

dca-blog_dental-fears-tools-scared-woman

If your child screams, runs, faints or threatens to run away whenever you mention an upcoming dental appointment, you’re not alone. An intense fear of the dentist can cause major stress for you and your child. Because routine exams and dental treatments are essential for healthy development of teeth and gums, avoiding dental visits is not a wise decision. Don’t worry; help is available. The following suggestions can make dental visits less frightening.

Fear of the Dentist in Infants and Toddlers

Be sure your baby has been to the dentist by his or her first birthday. Your child can easily pick up on your own dental anxiety, so maintain a calm and soothing demeanor and discuss dental topics in positive terms only. To make dental visits more comfortable, bring along a favorite toy or blanket.

Dental Phobia in Teenagers



Try to keep in mind that a teenager is more likely to hide their fear of the dentist because of embarrassment. Encourage your teen to ask questions, and share concerns about dental anxiety or concerns about an upcoming dental appointment. Understanding what is going to happen during treatment can help decrease fear. Ask the dentist to explain procedures in detail, so your teen will know what to expect. You can also introduce your teen to meditation, biofeedback, or guided relaxation programs to help ease anxiety.

Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety

Find a dentist who specializes in treating children who suffer from dental anxiety. Many pediatric dentists have kid-friendly waiting rooms with bright decor and a number of toys, games, and other distractions to make visits more enjoyable. After a successful dental exam, be sure to praise and reward your child for good behavior.

Don’t Pass Your Own Dental Anxiety Down to Your Children

However you choose to battle your own fear of the dentist, don’t share your dental anxiety with your children. A nationwide study released by Delta Dental in conjunction with National Anxiety Month in April, showed that a parent’s dental anxiety can be passed along to children. The poll revealed that the percentage of parents affected by dental phobia matched the percentage of children reporting the same fear of the dentist. To avoid sharing your fearful view of dentistry with your children, it’s important to manage your own negative emotions. A variety of anxiety-busting techniques can make your treatment experience easier; these include meditation, guided relaxation, use of headphones, and the presence of a good friend or family member.

To learn about our family dentistry practice in Philadelphia, call Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania today at (215) 789-9675 or make an appointment.

Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Philadelphia. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Friendliness and professionalism of staff
Deborah V.
The personal experience from making the appointment and then going to the office with Superior Service all from the phone call to the visit to the dentist thank you for your HELP..
Enoch H.
The employees are freindly, caring, thourogh and acomindating. I look forward to going to the dentist.!!!!!!
Cecilia D.
The care and the staff
Elizabeth C.
I recommended Gentle Dental to my friend. She is as happy with the staff and service as I am!!
Diana R.
The service with Gentle Dental is very good the receptionist to the nurses and doctors are all welcoming and sweet and they talk with you about other things other than dental you know which is good. […]
Racquel S.
Before last week I had only ever gone to the same dentist since I was born. However, since they were only a pediatric dentist I had to stop seeing them once I turned 19 and had to find a new dentist […]
Takyra K.
Everyone from the receptionist Lindsay to Dr.In everyone is so fantastic and friendly.
Kasie R.
Pleasant people, very competent technicians and dentists.
Marc G.
I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Fee, Rudy, Natalie, Kanesha, Kim, and the rest of the team. I’ve had everything from cleanings to root canals done at Gentle Dentle and now have an […]
Larry D.
excellent care
David B.
I have been a patient of Mark Minettola for over 30 years and never had a single problem with my teeth.That should be reason enough for a 10
William H.
Patient comfort is prioritized, high competence and professionalism.
Heather B.
Very friendly staff and they do an excellent job cleaning your teeth. The place is clean and organized. If you need your teeth cleaned, come here!
Steve S.
Friendly staff and dentists. Answered all my questions. Timely.
Ciara M.
Friendly, comfortable, provide explainations. Consistent service throughout years.
Julia G.
Great service!
Robert L.
Thorough cleaning by friendly, competent hygienist……In house plan makes for a very fair price.
Ann B.
The dentist, hygienist, and staff were very helpful and competent.
Nancy J.
The staff at Gentle Dentle remember all my family individually, we have a daughter who is special needs-they were great with her! It’s exactly what a great dentist office should be.
Marie L.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here