Assisting Good Behavior in Children Before, During, and After a Dentist’s Appointment

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Good behavior is a learned activity. You can help your child show good behavior at the dentist’s office by trying the following suggestions before, during, and after your child’s dental visit.


To help your child behave at the dentist’s office, ensure they get a full night’s sleep — and a nap if the appointment is later in the day — before their dental visit. Consider bringing their favorite items or toys along. A favorite comfort item or toy nearby can help your child realize that dentist’s office visits can be enjoyable and comfortable.

Before leaving your home, feed your child a small snack like grapes or apples. A light treat can make dental appointments way more peaceful for you and your child. If your child hasn’t been to the dentist before, or if they don’t quite understand why regular dental visits are important, try explaining why and how dentists keep our teeth and gums clean and healthy. Understanding the importance of dental appointments can help kids relieve stress that can lead to acting out.


Perhaps the easiest way to distract your child in the waiting room is to provide them with a book to focus on or items to fidget with. A toy, a video game, or even homework can keep their attention while they wait to see the dentist. And remember to remain calm and close to your child while you’re at the office. If your child is feeling anxious, try walking around together during the wait.


Following your appointment, praise your child for their good behavior. Acknowledgement is an incredible motivator for children, so when your child shows good behavior, acknowledge it after their visit! Also, remember to remind your child about proper behavior habits before additional appointments.

Need to visit Dr. Chris Fagan for a teeth cleaning? Call our Enid, Oklahoma, office, Brush Pediatric & Family Dentistry, and schedule an appointment with us at 580-233-0043 now. Our team is looking forward to your visit!