Your child’s dental experience matters more to us than making perfect fillings. We would like to get to know your child before they have any decay or broken teeth…. in fact, as soon as they have teeth.
These days, we try to match the dentistry to the child. We do not always need to fill or remove decayed teeth. We will always discuss the way forward with you both.
Occasionally, your child may need to come back for dental treatment, which can be equally hard for you, the parent, as it can be for the child, particularly if it is their first experience of dental treatment.
Building children’s confidence of the dentist
Before your visit, tell your child that the dentist will give them a ride in the special chair and count their teeth. If you, or an older sibling are confident at the dentist, then let the younger child watch this first. Please don’t say “it won’t hurt”- because that suggests it might!
Here, our fabulous dentist Alana Davies (who is currently on maternity leave with her second child) explains how you can help your child during dental visits and treatments:
“I will focus solely on the child making eye contact and smiling. I will always engage in conversation with them and ask them about their day or ask something exciting, like what are they are doing at the weekend.
If your child needs to come back, then I will explain to them what they are coming back in for and would use terms that I would hope a parent would replicate at home, such as the following:
- “You have a hole in one of your teeth and I would like to fix it, so can you come back again to see me?”
- “The next time you come in I will talk you through everything – it’s really easy and I can tell already you are going to be brilliant”
- “I might splash some water on your tooth or use some wind to dry it, does that sound ok?”
- “You have been so good today I’m really impressed with you; I will see you next time to look at the poorly tooth, is that ok?”
- “I might need to spray some special juice around the tooth to make it go frozen, so that you don’t feel any cold on the tooth. It feels really strange but it only lasts just a few hours. I will talk you through everything again next time, is that ok?”
The most important person in the room to your child, is you, their parent, so it is important that you help us in gaining their support and making the experience as positive as possible.
The following, are always helpful towards the experience of your child’s appointment:
- Allow the dentist to lead the conversation
- Occasional replication of positive phrases the dentist may use “you are doing brilliantly, well done”, “ten out of ten, fantastic”
- Please don’t discuss your own bad experiences. If you are dentally anxious, allow a friend to accompany them into surgery instead
- Encourage your child at home in a positive way, avoiding negative words or phrases like “it won’t hurt”
- Use a positive tone of voice
Some terms/words can cause the experience to turn negative and cause us to lose cooperation from your child:
- Please don’t use the word needle – this can instantly cause concern
- Please don’t say “it won’t hurt”- because that suggests it might!
- Please don’t threaten the child “You have to have it done or the dentist will pull it out” – this can cause unnecessary concerns
- Don’t focus on your feelings or experiences, this is about your child
- Sometimes other siblings in the room can make the experience harder for your child, especially if they mock their sibling or comment on each step (especially when about to place the injection)
- Promising toys or money puts pressure on children to perform and raises the stakes if more visits are recommended. We don’t advise this!
Take Good Care
Remember, what you and your children do to look after their teeth on a daily basis, will matter more than anything a dentist can do. Good brushing and sugar-free snacks are the keys to a great smile.
If you have any concerns about your child’s dental health, please don’t hesitate to contact us, any member of our fabulous team is on hand to help with any advice or support you may need.