Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"How can I get my child to sit still for his pediatric dental cleaning?"


My child has ADHD and refuses to sit still. I need him to calm down so he can get his dental checkup.


Having a child with ADHD can be difficult for many different reasons, most of which you are able to deal with as they arise on a regular basis. Dental and other medical visits pose a unique challenge, in that the success of the visit relies to a great extent on the cooperation of your child during the appointment. Fortunately, there is a group of dentists that specialize in dealing with children, and have extensive experience with children similar to your son.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Pediatric dentists near you

Pediatric dentists are trained with how to improve the encounter and accomplish what needs to be done with even the most difficult patients. Furthermore, a large part of their training is focused on special needs children or those with difficulties visiting a regular dentist. Finding a good pediatric dentist who comes highly recommended will go a long ways towards improving the experience. These dentists are also able to recommend and use minor sedation when the need arises, as it sometimes does in the most difficult patients. Finally, a calm and positive attitude on your part will help your child to be on his best behavior. Please discuss your concerns with your child's dentist and find if he or she has any further recommendations, but don't avoid taking your child to the dentist because of concerns about his behavior. As medical professionals, we've seen worse.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.