Even when children have been to the dentist before, a new setting may sometimes trigger old feelings of nervousness. As you plan for a dentist visit after a PCS, encourage kids’ questions about the appointment, and be ready with friendly answers that will keep everyone calm. Here are some common children’s questions, and some helpful answers you can provide.
Why are we going to the dentist? We do lots of things to stay healthy, like eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day, drinking lots of water, and brushing our teeth. A dentist helps us by looking into our mouths twice a year and helping us clean our teeth and gums.
What happens at the dentist’s office? People go to the dentist for a lot of different reasons, but it’s always so the dentist can help to keep our gums and teeth healthy and clean. Patients in a dentist’s office may sit in a big chair, have their teeth counted, get pictures taken of their teeth (called X-rays), and even get their teeth tickled by a special kind of toothbrush with fluoride.
Does it hurt? Getting our teeth cleaned usually doesn’t hurt a bit. But there could be times during the visit when a dentist may need to apply a little extra care to our teeth and gums. This may be uncomfortable or hurt for a second, but we can ask the dentist about this at the beginning of the visit. We can take big belly breaths during the appointment if it gets tough.
What will the dentist wear or use? Many dentists may wear a white coat, a mask, and special eyeglasses as protection. They also have special teeth-cleaning tools that we can ask them about.
Will I be there by myself? I’ll be there to support you and make sure you’re comfortable and safe!
How do I get ready? There are lots of things we can do to prepare for a visit to the dentist. On the day of the visit, you can wear something you like, so you are comfortable and happy. We can visit the dentist before the day of your appointment, so you can see what the place looks like, and meet some of the people who work there. At home, you can use stuffed animals to practice some of the things your dentist will do at the visit. Each day, we’ll continue to practice healthy habits, so the doctor can be proud of how we eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, drink water, and brush our teeth!
Next: Preparing for a Visit