You asked

What if my child is afraid of the dentist?

Despite, perhaps never having been to the dentist before, many children will cry as soon as they see the dental chair. It’s a good thing that there are many dentists who regularly encounter such children and are experts in calming them down.  Remember to praise your child’s braveness as a reward at the end of the visit! 
It’s also a good idea to schedule an appointment as early as possible in the day when your child is alert and less likely to be cranky and tired. Prepare your child for the visit by speaking about it to her, describe in general terms what will happen during the visit. Most dentists let parents stay in the room which can be comforting for a scared child.
For an older child, it might be better to stay in the waiting room. Remember to stay upbeat about dentists and your child will most likely follow your lead.

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