The Answers to Parents

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All in one place for the first time, parents can find answers to the many questions that come up all through a childhood.



The Answers to Parents Most Common Questions


What should I tell my child about the dentist?

Because the mouth is a source of pleasure for a young child, when he feels discomfort or pain in his mouth (from teething, sore gums, etc.) the experience can seem intolerable. And he may strongly resist a visit to the dentist, even though he will only feel mildly uncomfortable there.

Most children first go for a dental check-up when they are three or three and one-half years old. A younger child will go if he has a problem with his teeth or gums. Although a child under three probably will not understand what a dental visit is about, his parents should still try to prepare him by describing, in a simple way, the dentist’s procedures:

“He’s going to look inside your mouth and check your teeth.” At the office, a very young child might cooperate if he’s examined while sit ting on his parent’s lap. If this isn’t possible, his parents should at least stay nearby to offer reassurance.

A child who’s three or older is usually able to cooperate and follow directions well enough to be examined by a dentist. When he is going for his first check-up, tell him what to expect. Try acting out a visit to the office if you think your child is fearful. You can read him picture books on the subject or call the office before the appointment and ask how to help your child feel less anxious.

Despite your preparations, your child may still enter the dentist’s office feeling scared, and what he sees and hears there may make him feel worse. The sound of the drill can be frightening, and the dentist’s instruments look sharp. When your child is sitting in the chair, he can feel vulnerable and afraid since he doesn’t have control over what goes into his mouth. Encourage him to express his feelings and ask the dentist questions: “Will that hurt me? When will you be done?” If you’ve chosen a pediodontist or dentist who’s sensitive and likes children, he or she will reassure your child and explain the procedures in advance, and perhaps providing a mirror so your child can watch. You or the dentist might be able to distract your child by talking about the “treasure” he’ll take home after the appointment.

It sometimes happens that parents are more afraid of dental examinations than their children are. If you’re apprehensive about dentists, try not to pass your anxieties on to your child.






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