by: Amanda Sonntag, DDS
I never thought I would be "one of those parents" who spells words so their kids don't know what they're trying to say. But with a three year old, it has become a necessity in my household. I will often pause and select my words very carefully when speaking to my daughter, and I try to make my message as clear as possible. This is the same approach I take with my younger patients.
Dental visits can have many firsts. There are many new sounds, tastes, and sensations. It can help to walk young patients through the experience so the unknown is not overwhelming. Using "friendly words" like "tickle, bad bugs, silly, and rain jacket" make children feel comfortable as these are all words they can associate with. At Grove Dental, we are sensitive to this information, in fact, we believe it's actually unfair to use the technical words "drill, filling, and numbness" which will almost always increase anxiety. Other words we aim to avoid that sometimes illicit fear in children are: "pain, hurt, needle, and shot.” These words can be scary for patients, both young and old!
We sincerely hope that each dental visit builds confidence in your youngster. It is crucial for you, as a parent, to help us achieve this goal. We hope that together we can instill confidence in your child and help them understand that they are visiting the dentist for a good purpose. We will always strive to stay away from the negative and technical terms. Even the little things, such as offering your child a toy for coming to the dentist, can imply that they must be coaxed to visit. If your child has anxieties or sensory issues, we encourage you to let us know so that we can accommodate them accordingly.
As parents and dental professionals, lets work together as a team to make going to the dentist a positive experience!