A child’s first dental appointment is a new and unique experience: a new environment with new people, requiring a special kind of cooperation.
As any parent knows there are all sorts of children’s personalities and temperaments. Some children cooperate for dental treatment, some do not. You should not be surprised or embarrassed if your child does not cooperate in the dental office. The pediatric dentist and staff are experienced in coping with this behavior.
During treatment some children squirm, and may become difficult to control. This behavior is not unique to the dental office. Many toddlers and pre-schoolers avoid Santa Claus at the mall or cry when the babysitter arrives.
The more matter-of-factly parents approach a trip to the dentist, the less likely your child will have anxiety.
Tell your child about the appointment a half-hour before they leave and treat it like it’s a visit to the grocery store.
Inform your child that EVERYONE with good teeth goes to the dentist.
NEVER express any of your own personal anxieties about dental care to your child.
Allow us to prepare your child. When age appropriate, we will explain to your child what we will be doing during the visit and guide them through the appointment.
Please be a SILENT observer-support your child with touches. This allows us to maintain communication with your child. Children will normally listen to their parents instead of us and may not hear our guidance. You might give incorrect or misleading information.
In rare instances it may be necessary to ask parents to leave the treatment room. Many children will try and control the situation. “Acting out” is normal but unacceptable during treatment.
Most importantly, please communicate with us. Inform us of any incident or condition that might be helpful in understanding your child’s behavior. Let us know how your child is feeling that day. A child’s emotional behavior can be significantly affected by an illness, a divorce, a death in the family, problems in schools, and previous medical/dental experience.
Be supportive of our practice’s terminology. When preparing your child for a dental visit, do not use word that will frighten them, like “needle” or “shot”. Please support us by NOT USING negative words that are often used for dental care Our intention is not to “fool” your child- it is to create a positive experience.
Needle or Shot
Drill on Tooth
Pull or Yank Tooth
Clean a Tooth
Wiggle a Tooth Out