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Teaching Kids Healthy Habits Teaching Kids Healthy Habits

When It May Hurt to Go To the Dentist

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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? 

ŠiStockphoto.com/nailiaschwarz


by on Mar. 6, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (11-20):
Kainalu55
by Member on Mar. 6, 2012 at 3:47 PM
that's always what my daughter looks forward to
Quoting Schleetle:

We talk about it. The dentist has a prize box, and they get a goody bag with a character toothbrush so they are usually happy with that.

Kainalu55
by Member on Mar. 6, 2012 at 3:47 PM
Honesty is important!
Quoting batjmom:

Honesty. I would rather them know what to expect and have me help them handle it.

elasmimi
by on Mar. 6, 2012 at 4:06 PM

so far we haven't had any problems, but when her top front permanent teeth come in, she will need surgery. I am lucky that our dentist lets me stay with her, and that calms her pretty well.

momkaribg
by on Mar. 6, 2012 at 4:27 PM
Same here.

Quoting batjmom:

Honesty. I would rather them know what to expect and have me help them handle it.
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PoehlerBear1983
by Meghan on Mar. 6, 2012 at 5:27 PM
I just use honesty
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amy7243
by Member on Mar. 6, 2012 at 6:11 PM

 My kids are so good at the dentist we havent had an issue.

Charizma77
by Member on Mar. 6, 2012 at 6:49 PM
We talk about it and I will answer all questions honestly.
sarah824
by on Mar. 6, 2012 at 7:54 PM

I always try to be honest and prep them for any pain that may come. I would rather tell them and prepare them, then let it be a surprise. 

mamivon2
by Member on Mar. 6, 2012 at 7:56 PM

We just tell them they have an appointment... thank god they never really ask..

alliesmom112
by Member on Mar. 6, 2012 at 8:03 PM
We haven't had a visit to the dentist that hurt but I imagine we would do.just like we do when she gets shots. We read a story about it and then talk about iy
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