Eas­ing the anx­i­ety

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - PARENTING - By ALI­SON JOHN­SON

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

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