Working carefully and compassionately with children in a dental office is very important since we don’t want them to have a bad experience and become resistant to future dental visits. From a child’s point of view, a trip to the dentist can be a scary event – lying on a chair in an unfamiliar room filled with unfamiliar objects.
Our Focus On The Child’s Experience
When possible, to help ease their fear of dentists, we will allow kids to come and visit the office and sit in a chair and just talk with the dentist for couple minutes – maybe even get a little present. Or when a parent is in the chair, we allow the kids to stand beside them in the room to see how a dental appointment goes.
“Tell your child that the dentist is a friendly doctor whose job is to help them.”
The dentist will use simple words to explain a procedure before it is performed on the child. Sometimes, praise and compliments are used to reward the child for good behaviour, and other times distractions are used to draw the child’s attention away from the work being done. For example, in our office we have TVs on the ceiling and a wireless headset that the kids can watch. Kids love it.
We shouldn’t forget that children’s cooperation is also very important in a dental office. If kids are too frightened or are not cooperative it can sometimes be dangerous or lead to the development of long-term complexes. This is uncommon, but we always refer this kind of patient to child dental specialist.
But don’t be alarmed.
Most kids will handle their dental visits well, particularly with the help of some simple tips for parents and guardians to follow before stepping into the dental office with their kids.
- Tell your child about the visits but limit the amount of details given.
- Answer any questions with simple answers.
- Don’t tell your child that something will hurt or that it will be painful.
- Don’t tell your child about an unpleasant dental experience that you’ve had.
- Do tell your child how important it is to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
- Do tell your child that the dentist is a friendly doctor whose job is to help them.