Do’s and Don’ts When Talking to Children About Dental Treatment

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Monday, March 9, 2009

Please be careful with what you say when discussing dental treatment with your child.  If only positive language is used prior to and during treatment, the child is much more likely to have a favorable experience in our office.  By all means, don’t say “hurt” or “won’t hurt.” These statements will register only the word “hurt” in a child’s mind. Be honest, but deliberately use only positive words.



6 Responses to “Do’s and Don’ts When Talking to Children About Dental Treatment”

  1. BKoerp says:

    What a helpful piece of information. Wish I had known it when my kids were young.

  2. Ryan Dunlavy says:

    I am really afraid of the needles! I think my parents made the classic mistake that Dr. Hood is referring to here. I think this is great advice and will prove to have positive results for your children.

  3. Sharron Thompson says:

    I think that this advice would have been great for my parents to know when I was a kid. I still don’t like going to the dentist, and mostly because of the needles.

    When my kids were young I took them to a children’s dentist that was really good with children, and they don’t mind going to the dentist at all.

  4. Mistylynn says:

    I totally agree with this concept. I grew up with an utter fear of the dentist because of the noises and the pain. Anytime anyone mentions anything with possible pain, whether dentist or other, I avoide it like the plague. Keeping it positive might have had a better outcome for me.

    On a brighter note, Dr. Hood was the first dentist in my life I was able to go to with the least fear. I checked out his office because I saw a flyer that said he catered to chickens when I was a young adult. I decided I would go when I absolutely had to and he treated me kindly and was more patient with me than the other dentists. I would recommend him to anyone!

  5. MsCarter says:

    I totally agree with this information. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised during my 4 year old’s recent visit to the dentist. It was all about being positive!

    Unfortunately she had a cavity that needed to be removed. I sat beside her while she was in the chair, expecting to hold her hand while she wiggled around in discomfort, but to my surprise it turned out to be just the opposite. The dentist gave me the option to give her a shot to numb the pain, or to just have the tooth pulled.

    “Isn’t that barbaric?” I asked. He chuckled and explained to me that many times, the sight of the long needle and the pain that goes with getting a shot inside of the mouth, is worse than him just pulling out her baby tooth.

    After receiving the information I needed to make the best choice, I opted to NOT have the dentist numb her with the needle prior to pulling her tooth. Less than 5 minutes later she was sitting up in the chair asking for stickers and her new toothbrush and dental floss… all smiles-no tears!

    My children now look forward to going to the dentist because we make it fun and they feel good about taking care of their smiles!

  6. Beverly K says:

    I sure could have used a dentist with a better chair-side manner when I was young. My “dentist fears” (which continue today) stemmed from an incident then. I don’t remember what age I was at the time, but I had a large cavity. The dentist deadened it, and before he started drilling, he told me that if it hurt I was to raise my hand and he would quit. It started hurting, I raised my hand, but he didn’t quit! From that point on, I have totally dreaded going to the dentist, and am very tense when I’m in the chair.

    I must say, though, that for major things (crown prep), I am now going to a dentist that gives the option of “gas.” After trying it once, I am now willing pay the extra expense!!

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