Parents know that every child is different. Because of this, children will have different needs when it comes to encouraging a positive oral health experience at the dentist. Some children may feel an uncommon level of fear and anxiety when it comes to visiting the dentist - which means that when talking to your child about the dentist, you will have to choose your words carefully. Here, the Smile Town Team explains more.
A trip to the dentist may be a scary experience for some children.
They will have t lie down in a big chair in a place they don' spend very much time. While there, they are hearing unfamiliar noises, seeing dental machines and have a dentist poking around in their mouths. When you put it like that, it probably makes sense why this may even be scary for many adults too!
At Smile Town, we want to make our young patients feel as comfortable and safe as we can while they’re visiting us. However, you can help at home too!
We strive to create a friendly and welcoming office environment with toys, books, games and more to help keep children engaged while they wait for their appointment.
And, our team of Langley dentists and dental professionals are dedicated in providing care to kids. They have strategies that they employ to try and help children feel safe and at home.
Once you and your child have arrived at our office, we’ll do what we can to help your child feel comfortable and welcomed.
For parents who would like to help relieve some of their children’s dental anxiety before an appointment, here are a few things you should make sure to avoid before your child's visit:
1. Talking about your own dental anxiety
Even if you feel some dental fear or anxiety yourself, it's important not to let your child know that the dentist is something worth being afraid of.
Your kid looks to you for guidance about what is scary or intimidating and what is no big deal. Even if you use positive language about the dentist, letting your child know that it is something worth being scared about can encourage any fear or nervousness they may already feel.
2. Using the words 'pain,' 'needle,' or 'shot'
Even if used positively when describing the dental experience, these are words that will stick in the mind of many kids. They may focus on these scary words instead of the positive message you are trying to convey to them!
Look to our dentists for guidance about what kinds of language works best when talking to kids about their dental treatments
3. Talking negatively about the dentist generally
While it seems like may go without saying, it's important to remember to stay positive about the dentist's office as much as possible.
If you begin speaking negatively about how scary the dentist's office is, how uncomfortable a dental exam is, or how hard of an experience it may be, your child is far more likely to experience fear or anxiety going into their own appointment.
4. Speaking about your own dental experiences in too much detail
While it can be helpful for your child to know that you have gone to dentist and have had positive dental experiences - make sure you don't go into too much detail.
Children have vivid imaginations and if you paint too clear a picture for them of procedures you have undergone such as fillings, root canals, or extractions, they may extrapolate your experiences with those procedures to their expectations of their own checkup exam!
When talking about your previous experiences, make sure to keep your descriptions positive and stick to relevant procedures - no fillings when your child is only coming in for a checkup.
5. Saying nothing or refusing to explain
While getting too specific can contribute to your child's dental anxiety, so too can not being specific enough.
If your child has specific questions, make sure that you are answering them positively and generally without getting too bogged down in details. But don't avoid giving them an answer!
If you do, they may interpret this as a sign that the answer is too scary for you to tell them and they can fill in the blanks with all sorts of details about their upcoming dentist's visit that they've invented themselves.