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  • Writer's pictureGreater Houston Pediatric Dentistry

How to talk to children about visiting a pediatric dentist

mom and daughter making a heart with their hands

When you talk to children about going to the dentist and what to expect, you might find that it's better to talk about this issue in terms that are easy for your child to understand. You don't want to use terms that are for adults because your child likely won't understand everything you say or might become frightened if you talk about needles in the mouth or fillings. You can talk about visiting your Greater Houston pediatric dentist with words and explanations that are positive and that will gently explain what they will see, hear and experience.

NO BIG WORDS Instead of using big words that might sound like they come from an encyclopedia, talk to your child about the dentist using words that are simple. Before you visit a pediatric dentist, talk about the office and the procedures using basic words, like toothbrush, toothpaste, and lights. Your child will probably understand when you talk about the dentist looking at and counting the teeth instead of talking about the dentist taking an X-ray or looking for cavities. If your child is getting a filling or needs additional treatment, don't use words that are frightening. Explain how the dentist is trying to make the teeth healthy and pretty so that they will last for a long time.

DON'T HIDE INFORMATION There are few people who like going to the dentist. However, you need to talk to your children about keeping the teeth healthy and how important it is to brush them and keep them clean. A part of keeping them clean and healthy is going to the dentist. Explain that the dentist is a friend who is only trying to help. Be honest about how something might taste or feel without scaring your child.

PAINT A PICTURE Terms should be explained in a way that makes sense for your child. Show your child that toothpaste and other products are brushed or painted on the teeth to keep them white and healthy. A way to teach your child about X-rays is to explain that they are like a picture that is taken of the mouth. You can also talk about floss being a string that will help remove germs between the teeth.


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