Preparing Your Child

At Shoreline Pediatric Dentistry, we not only want to help maintain healthy smiles, we also want to have fun while doing it. Children can experience some anxiety with new environments or new experiences, so here are some ways to help make your child’s visit easy and enjoyable.

Speak Positively About Their Upcoming Visit:

Some adults have feelings of anxiety about dentists. Children are very perceptive and can pick up on these anxieties. Speak calmly and positively about what to expect during the visit. When your child sees you are relaxed, he or she is more likely to feel relaxed.

Tell or Show Them What To Expect

When children know what to expect, they are more comfortable with new situations. One way to get your child ready for a dental appointment is to look at books describing what it’s like to go see the dentist.

Two of our favorite books are “The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist,” by Stan & Jan Berenstain, and “Curious George Visits the Dentist,” by H.A. & Margret Rey.

Also, show your child our New Patient Experience web page, so you can both walk through exactly what you can expect at your visit. You’ll see pictures of all the parts of our office.

Child Friendly Terms

Here are some suggestions for ways to describe different parts of your child’s appointment. These are also the terms that our team uses. Using them with your child will help them feel like the terms are familiar and comforting.

Instead of…Use Child Friendly Term…
Radiographs or x-raysPictures of teeth
Tooth CleaningWashing teeth (while watching a movie)
ExaminationCounting teeth
Cavities/DecaySugar bugs
Shot (local anesthetic)Tooth sleepy juice
Dental drillWater Whistle
SuctionMr. Thirsty
Fillings/restorationsTooth paint
Fluoride TreatmentTooth Vitamins


After explaining the different parts of the visit, have your child use a favorite doll or stuffed animal and pretend it’s going through an appointment. Research has shown that structured play helps to familiarize children to new experiences and lower their anxiety levels.

Schedule a “Whale Watching” Office Tour

A great way to get familiar with the office is to just swim on by. An office tour, which we call “whale watching,” allows your child to walk through the office, play some games, and meet our team before an actual appointment.

If you’re interested in scheduling a whale watching tour, please give our office a call!