Easing the anxiety
Before his visit to the dentist, explain to your child how lucky he is to have a good dentist who can fix his teeth. GOING to the dentist is scary for many children, especially when they have their first cavity. Here are tips from dentists on getting them through the procedure:
> Answer questions. If your child wants to know what will happen, give her some honest details: where she’ll sit, the noises she’ll hear and how her mouth will feel strange and “sleepy” for a while.
> Emphasise the positive. Explain how lucky your child is to have a good dentist who can fix his tooth. This isn’t the time to blame him for poor brushing or eating habits.
> Use non-scary words. You don’t need to say “needle,” “shot” or “hurt.” Instead, go with “little poke,” “magic wand” or “sleepy juice for your tooth”. Some parents also call cavities “sugar spots” or “booboos” and fillings “paint.”
> Share your experiences. Kids should know that cavities are very common and not hard for a dentist to fix. If you’ve never had a cavity, find someone who has to talk to the child about how simple the procedure was.
> Give your child some control. If she wants to wear certain clothes or bring a comfort item such as a stuffed animal, let her. Also let her decide if she wants you to come into the treatment room with her (assuming the dentist allows it).
> Stay calm. Even if you’re nervous, your child doesn’t need to see that – especially in the waiting room.
> Plan something fun afterward. Go to the park or another favourite spot after your appointment, or set up a play date with a good friend. You can also take your child out for a special food treat once the numbness in her mouth wears off. – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services