Explaining a Dental Visit To a Child
“Tell all the Truth, but tell it slant” — Poet Emily Dickinson
Every child deserves healthy teeth and a beautiful smile. Along with a consistent routine of dental care at home that includes brushing and flossing, regular cleanings are needed to maintain your child’s overall health. How can you explain what’s involved in a dental exam and cleaning without scaring a child too much with talk of probes, scrapings and scalings? The following ideas should help you get your child inside the door of our nearby Carmichael dental office.
Tell the Truth, But Make It Fun
One thing you can tell children is that keeping their teeth clean is a lot like keeping their fingernails clean. Regular hand washing is important, but sometimes some extra help is needed to get the dirt out from under those grimy areas! That’s when Mom or Dad helps out with a little extra bit of work to get their fingernails looking shiny and clean. A dental cleaning is a lot like that. Sometimes dirt gets under the edge of our teeth and we need the dentist to help us clean it out. And just like Mom or Grandma and their friends like to have their fingernails pretty and shiny, our teeth will be pretty and shiny after we leave the dentist, because they are going to be polished! Their only color choice is white, but they will leave with bright, clean teeth that are ready to crunch into their favorite foods.
You can see that describing a dental visit to a young child does not have to be a scary subject. If they think the process of a dental cleaning is like getting a manicure or pedicure for their teeth, the idea won’t be quite so fearsome. Let them know that there will be a chair with “special powers” to sit in, lights that can look deep down their throats, a camera that can take pictures of their very back teeth and a fun water squirt gun to rinse their teeth. Putting dental terms in a child-friendly way may make it easier to get your child in for their all-important check-ups.
So don’t lie to your children, but have some “fun with the truth” and your child will be smiling for years to come. The dentists at the Marconi Dental Group look forward to working with your family to keep your teeth healthy now and later!