We never try to put our kids in situations where they are going to be hurt. But sometimes we have to -- a trip to the dentist may come with the possibility of a shot. Whether it is getting a cavity filled or even doing some pre-orthodontic work, that dentist chair could become a little uncomfortable for our little ones.
It's tough to prepare your kiddo for something that may not be fun and a bit painful, but there are some things that can help.
-- Be honest, but don't elaborate. If your child asks if a procedure will hurt, tell him the truth, but don't go on and on. If he may get a shot of Novocain, remind him how, just as when he gets the flu shot at the pediatrician, it will be a sharp prick and then be over in seconds. If there might be pressure from drilling, tell him and describe the sounds, but make a fun comparison, maybe to workman drilling on the streets.
-- Distract him. While he is there waiting, be sure to keep him busy. Bring books, have him play games on your phone, toss markers and coloring books in your purse, whatever can keep his mind off of what is to come.
-- Relax him. If he starts to get upset, do some deep breathing, maybe remind him of a favorite place or memory to think about and calm him down.
-- Have something fun planned for after the visit. The first thing that comes to mind is grabbing an ice cream or treat, but remember, his mouth may be numb, so that may or may not be a good choice. Maybe a trip to the toy store for some new Legos or the library or special playtime with Mom and Dad at home.
How to you prepare your child if a trip to the dentist may hurt?