Some children love coming to the dentist from day one and others take time to warm up. If your child gets upset during the visit, rest assured that it is normal behavior because they are in an unfamiliar situation. Please do not be alarmed or embarrassed. We are all trained to help fearful or anxious children through their dental experience, and as your child matures, we hope to encourage his or her independence and promote self-esteem.
If your child is older and has not been to the dentist yet, you should discuss the positive aspects of dentistry with them before the appointment. Try to act relaxed and at ease because if you are stressed and anxious, they will likely be stressed and anxious as well.
Please do not tell your child that the dentist will not hurt because the possibility of pain may have never entered his or her mind. Instead, reassure your child that Dr. Tim and Dr. Jodi will be friendly and gentle. Also, avoid using words such as needle, shot, pull, or other words that could create anxiety. We will explain our procedures in ways that your child can understand and will work to decrease any fear or anxiety they may have. For example, we call the suction device “Mr. Thirsty” and cavities “sugar bugs.”
A common problem that children face is being fearful about coming to the dentist because they are unsure about what will happen. It is normal to be scared of the unknown, and we work with kids every day to help them feel more comfortable so that they can establish a positive relationship with our dentists and staff.
There are several things we do to help kids feel comfortable in our office. For example, when they arrive in the office, we like to take them on a tour of the office to show them the different areas. We also don’t rush them into treatment. Some kids take a while to warm up to our staff and the idea of having someone work in their mouth. We talk with the kids while they are still in the waiting room so they can get to know us better, and when they are in the treatment areas, we show them what we will be doing and use wording that is age-appropriate. We have toys in our treatment rooms in case they need a break, and each chair has a television screen hanging over it so that they can watch movies while their teeth are being cleaned.
If you have any specific concerns about your child’s first visit, we would love to talk to you about them ahead of time. Just call our office or email us at your convenience.