Helpful Hints for Happy Dental Visits
During your child’s first few dental visits, you’re welcome to join them in the treatment area. Our goal is to help children become more comfortable during every visit. So, once we gain their trust, we ask parents to stay in the waiting room during their child’s visits to set them up for success.
Research shows that encouraging independence is the key to helping children thrive. However, children with special needs might benefit from having a familiar adult with them during every appointment.
Letting kids interact with the dental team independently helps us form a stronger relationship with them. A connection based on trust and understanding leads to the best possible appointments.
Here’s how you can help your child:
- If your child is fearful of the noises during visits, you can bring headphones with music to calm them down.
- When talking to your child about appointments, associate dental care with positive feelings. Avoid saying things that make the dentist sound scary.
- Young children do best during morning appointments, so consider that when scheduling.
- Encourage your child to ask any questions to our team during the appointment. We explain procedures in specific ways to make them sound less intimidating to children.
You can sit back and relax while we take excellent care of your child!
The dental experiences of kids today are much different than when we were their age. Most kids have fun, positive experiences at the dentist! Yet, some children will still be nervous, depending on the situation. A kid’s age, past experiences, upcoming procedures, and pain levels can affect the amount of anxiety. Our team will keep discussions positive to ensure that our business is a welcoming environment for your child.
Parents always want to help their kids, but sometimes, they accidentally say things that make dental appointments seem scary. To help your child have a positive mindset, here are some common phrases to avoid:
“Don’t worry, they’re not going to do anything today,” or “Don’t worry, it won’t hurt.”
- Kids may have never thought to worry before hearing these phrases. These words could cause fear instead of preventing it.
- These words imply that if the dental staff “do something” in the future, it would be a reason to worry.
“They want you to open your mouth,” or “Put your head back.”
- It’s hard for children to focus on more than one person at a time. If the parent and dentist are both talking, the child may have a hard time concentrating, which could prevent them from understanding what they need to do.
“Are you giving them a shot?”
- Shots are scary for children, which is why we say things like, “putting your tooth to sleep” instead. These lighthearted phrases aren’t meant to be silly, but instead, they’re comforting for young patients.
- Our dental team explains situations carefully because we know how much of an effect our words have on children.
- We will say things like “clean” instead of “drill” and “wiggle” instead of “pull out.” These are ways to describe the procedure in a way that doesn’t cause fear.
“I told you not to eat candy! Now you have a cavity, and it’s going to hurt!”
- Phrases like this will do the opposite of calm your child. It makes them feel like the treatment is a punishment, which only scares them more.
“Are you alright?” or “Do you want me to stay in the room?”
- Parents who say these words have good intentions, but phrases like that can make kids of all ages more nervous. It’s similar to when a toddler falls but gets right back up. If you ask them if they’re okay, they’ll likely start crying, so the same is often true at the dentist.
- Your child’s comfort is a priority to us. We can tell how they’re feeling based on facial expressions and body language alone. Kids may cry even if something isn’t hurting, but they were told that it would. Many children also cry due to unfamiliar places, people, and sounds.
“I hate going to the dentist,” or any scary stories from family members
- Don’t let other family members, such as older siblings, tell children about frightening dental experiences.
- These stories may lead to fears and worries that your child hadn’t considered before.