Please DO. . .
- Schedule the appointment on a day and time when you and your child will not be tired or rushed.
- Remember that dental care is something you want for your family. We don’t have to go to the dentist; we get to go to the dentist! Just like you would go to the doctor to keep your body healthy and strong, the dentist helps keep your teeth healthy and strong.
- Help your child to understand what to expect from a dental visit by reading an age-appropriate storybook about a dental visit, role-playing at home, or watching a cartoon. Sesame Street has great kid-friendly videos on YouTube.
- Keep your feelings low-key and treat the dental visit as routine. What we accept as normal, our children will accept as well.
- Answer your child’s questions honestly, but not too specifically. Too many details can create confusion and anxiety.
Please DO NOT . . .
- Communicate your own fears about the dentist to your child.
- Use dental visits as a threat when your child misbehaves.
- Expect perfect behavior.
- Promise to stay with your child during the entire appointment
- Most children cooperate better without a parent present.
- Make the dentist a villain.
- Joke about pulling teeth.
If your child is struggling
Please DO engage your child in positive conversation such as:
- Redirecting attention to something pleasant, like what movie you’ll watch when you get home, where you’ll stop for lunch after the appointment, etc.
- Telling your child what is special about him/her.
- Talking about pets, siblings, toys, etc.
- Reciting a favorite story or song
Please DO try some of these child-friendly coping strategies:
- “Use your deep breathing now “ Guide your child with slow, deep breaths.
- “Pretend you are superman and squeeze my hand” or any other character that your child admires.
- “Draw me a picture on my hand with your finger”
Please DO NOT use distressing phrases such as:
- “I know it hurts.”
- “You must be getting tired.”
- “I don’t like being at the dentist either.”
- “You’re just like me, I had bad teeth too.”
- “This reminds me of when I had 6 teeth yanked out.”
Have specific concerns about your child’s appointment? Need more help preparing your child for their appointment? Call 214-484-3199 and a member of our team would be glad to help you.