Your local pediatric dentist’s office is built to provide a supportive environment in which children can engage with their dentist and learn more about their teeth, gums and oral health. 

It’s natural for children to be curious about the dentist. The dental office is a new environment, marking the beginning of a new phase in discovering the world around them. Engaging with your child as they go to the dentist for the first time can help instill them with confidence as they begin their oral health journey. To help you, we’re offering our guide to speaking with your child about the dentist.

Avoid Negative Language

The language you use early on in speaking with your child about the dentist can play a large role in their feelings in the long-term. Focus on the benefits of the procedure they will undergo and the fun they will have at the dental office. 

Avoid using specific negative words about the sensations they might feel during treatment. For example, avoid using words like “shot” or “hurt” when describing the appointment. Use power words such as “strong”, “healthy” and “safe” to reassure them.

Practice the Visit at Home

Children learn through visual cues and so practicing the visit at home first is often the best way to ensure your child is comfortable. Go through the day with them from the moment you leave the house to the moment they leave the dentist’s office after treatment. 

Research and provide your child details about the dentist’s offices, the reception team, the hygienist and the dentist. Explain in basic terms what each member of the team does and how these friendly experts are here to help them. Then ask your child to lay down on a comfortable surface, and have them open their mouth and practice the process of the dentist checking their teeth. 

Use Pictures and Videos

To further engage your child’s mind and help them process and prepare for their visit to the dentist, use pictures and videos. The following tools are helpful to calming your child before a visit and for answering their questions about the dental experience:

  • Online Guides

Show them online videos of other children visiting the dentist. They’ll see children their own age enjoying their visit and instantly begin to feel better about their upcoming appointment.

  • Videos of the Clinic

You might also show your child videos of the dental clinic. For example,  our team at Glow Pediatric Dentistry has a number of videos on our Instagram page to show our clinic. There, you’ll also find pictures of our recent patients enjoying their visit with Dr. Fran.

  • Picture Books

For young children, picture books are the best introduction to the dental treatment process. Read them with your child the night before the appointment and ask if they have any questions you can answer. Remember to speak as clearly as possible about dental care while using positive language.

Talk About Your Own Experiences

Often, going to the dentist with your child can be a great bonding experience. 

Share your stories of going to the dentist with your child. Explain the positive parts of the experience and the many additional benefits you received, including improving your oral health and learning about brushing and teeth cleaning techniques.

Encourage Questions

Throughout each phase of teaching your child about the dentist and discussing the dental care process with them, encourage questions. Ask them how they feel about visiting a dentist and what they’re most excited about.  

Questions your child might have about the dentist include:

  • What does it feel like to have my teeth cleaned?
  • Will it hurt?
  • Will you be there with me?
  • Why do I need to go?
  • What happens if I don’t go?

Answer any questions as honestly as possible without adding negative feelings regarding discomfort during treatment. Your child will naturally have further questions for the dentist when they arrive at the office. 

The Glow Pediatric Dentistry team has many years of experience working with children. We encourage these questions and invite children to learn more as they undergo treatment. We work to remove any concerns children have and provide clear, friendly answers ready for decades of excellent oral health.

Make Glow Pediatric Dentistry Your Trusted Local Children’s Dentist

With convenient office locations in Richmond and Langley, Glow Pediatric Dentistry is the best choice for your family and your child’s future oral health. We’re here to help you in speaking with your child about the dental experience. Each member of staff can answer questions, provide guidance, and help form the ultimate safe environment for your child to begin their oral health journey. 

Give your child the ultimate foundation for dental health success. Book a visit with Glow Pediatric Dentistry today!