You’ve got questions? We have answers. The challenges faced by families today are numerous and it’s nice to know you have a team in your corner helping you with some of the important decisions with respect to your family oral health. We’ve assembled a list of items here for your consideration. From time to time we will add to this list all in an effort to get good information out there that is designed to help you.
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1) REASSURE- express your confidence that they can handle this and remind them about all good dental or medical experiences so far.
2) DETAILS- most people fear the unknown. Give your children enough details so they won’t be surprised by upcoming events. Tell the truth but in a gentle way. Dental hygiene visits are not a punishment for not brushing their teeth, eating too much candy or bad behaviour.
3) DOWNPLAY-don’t make it a big deal or a difficult challenge. Avoid sharing your horror dental stories.
4) DISTRACT-keep them entertained so their mind is off the event, especially if they tend to worry about new visits.
5) DANGER WORDS-avoid using scary words like PAIN, NEEDLE OR HURT. Young kids are very sensitive to words that can evoke fear.
6) DRAMA- some children can be very dramatic. Avoid getting caught in the drama.
7) TIMING- schedule an appointment at a time of the day when your kids are at their best. Late evening is usually not so good because they are tired and cranky.
8) ENCOURAGEMENT-every small step for us is a big step for them. Try to encourage their good behaviour -before and through the procedure.
9) SUPPORT-give quiet approval for their efforts, especially if they have a difficult time. Simple touch or holding a hand will remind them about your presence and support.
10) REWARD-give them something to look forward after the visit. Hugs and kisses always work miracles.
Children will ask you “Will it hurt?” They probably heard some stories from their friends. They need your reassurance that everything is going to be OK and you are familiar with the situation. During their dental hygiene visit, we will explain the procedures, in easy to understand words, and then proceed. We will help you and your child to conquer the fear and be comfortable. The biggest challenge is not the procedure itself but your and your child emotional response to it. That is why many parents appreciate dental hygiene visits to be separate from dental appointments.