When I first started an old Instagram account, I did a short series on what not to say to your child.
I was prompted to start this series because the same day I had a parent try to explain what was going to happen at their dental visit. It was tragic.
The parent, bless their heart, was trying to explain things the best the knew how. But this scared the child and the child became defiant and would not let me do anything to their teeth.
I have heard some interesting things parents say to their children and I thought it would be helpful for the parents as well as other dentists.
I felt pretty good about the series because it was entertaining and informative. My best friend called me laughing about the series later.
She really thought I was just making everything up! I have witnessed parents (and siblings) telling kids these things on more than one occasion.
So that you don’t inadvertently traumatize your child, take a look at the top four things that I have heard in my days of working with the kiddos at the dental office.
“The dentist is going to use a really big needle and give you a shot!”
On behalf of all of the dentist that enjoy seeing kids … Please do not say this to your child!
I understand some parents believe that you should tell your child the truth and not sugar coat reality. But this is not the way to do it!
There is certain vocabulary that we use in the dental office to let kids know what we are doing without scaring them out of the chair.
If your child has to get some type of dental treatment that requires local anesthesia (“a shot”), try saying “the dentist is going to get your teeth sleepy” or “the dentist is going to use sleepy juice to get your teeth to fall asleep.”
The best way to handle the situation is to not bring it up the “shot” part at all. I know that you mean well.
But, the less you say, the less likely you will say something that will scare your child.
“The dentist is going to pull all of your teeth out!”
Moms I understand sometimes you want to get your child’s attention and get them to stop certain annoying behaviors. Please do not use the dentist as a scare tactic.
Your child will grow up with an unnecessary fear of the dentist. And more than likely will avoid getting dental treatment as an adult.
If your child is getting a tooth extracted, tell your child the dentist is going to “wiggle” the tooth out not “yank” or “pull” the tooth out.
Please, please, please moms do not sit in the room with your child and ask the dentist “now you’re going to give her the shot” or “now you’re going to pull the tooth out.”
Things usually don’t go well once your child hears you say that for obvious reasons.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Try telling your child the dentist is going to ‘wiggle your tooth’ versus ‘going to pull it out.'” quote=”Try telling your child the dentist is going to ‘wiggle your tooth’ versus ‘going to pull it out.'”]
“It’s okay. I hate the dentist too.”
This always hurts my feelings! LOL.
Seriously, I know that most adults would rather be somewhere else than in the dental chair, but do not push your feelings on to your kids.
Going to the dentist should not be punishment for your child.
We want to build a positive experience so that they will be so familiar with the dentist and that going to the dentist is not a big deal.
If you honestly hate going to the dentist, don’t let your kids know. Kids will mimic their parent’s behavior.
Instead, pretend like going to the dentist is fun and they will have an easy dentist visit with no tears.
“Everything is going to be okay” (Especially when they have cavities)
Mom the best way to handle going to the dentist is keeping it simple. When you try to explain too much you raise more questions that usually produces unnecessary anxiety.
Avoiding telling your child everything will be fine because if your child needs treatment your child may end up losing trust in me and their dentist.
When this happens, it is hard to have a dental visit without tears or whining.
There you have it. the top four things I have heard at the office that parents should avoid saying.
I know you have heard parents tell their kids some interesting things before or during their dental visit. Leave a comment below and share with me what you have heard.