How To Help A Non-English Speaking Child Feel Comfortable At The Dentist

Dentist Blog

Most children are apprehensive about going to the dentist, even though they can understand the people who are speaking around them. If you are the caretaker of a non-English speaking child, dental visits can be even more complicated. The last thing you should do is avoid taking your child to the dentist because you do not know how they will react to what they do not understand. There are several ways you can ease the situation in spite of their dental fears and lack of being able to understand the local language. Here is a look at a few things you should know about helping out your non-English speaking child when they visit the dentist. 

Look for a dentist that has a multicultural staff. 

There are actually some dentists that have staff members that speak more than English, so it never hurts to ask if this is the case when you start looking for the best place. If the office has a multicultural staff, they may even have that information published on their website. Some of the larger pediatric dental clinics that employ a lot of professionals at one place will be most likely to have someone on their staff who speaks a different language. 

Act as the translator for the child during the visit. 

If you are well-versed in the English language and the language your child speaks in, you can act as a translator during the visit. Just let the dentist know in advance that the child does not speak English and that you plan to translate so they can understand. When the dentist knows this, they will speak directly to you and give you time between their statements so you have time to translate what needs to be said. If you are not well-versed in both languages, it is worth considering bringing along someone who is. 

Educate the child before the visit so they know what to expect. 

Children are often afraid of things they do not understand, and language barriers can make understanding even more difficult. If you will not be able to translate for the child or you can't find an office that speaks the child's language, take some time to educate the child before the visit. You can usually order books for children in all kinds of languages on all kinds of topics on places like, and there may be short videos online you can find that will give you translated subtitles so you can teach the child. 


13 October 2019