How Parents Can Assist During Dental Appointments

Parents can assist the dentist during the dental appointment by:

  • Helping to seat their children
  • Helping to hold their children in the chair

Instructions to the parent:

Several days before the appointment, tell your child casually that you both will be visiting the dentist. Don't force the issue; don't be over sympathetic to the child or display any fear or misgiving in your voice.

  • Please do not voice your own personal fears in front of the child as this often causes fear in your child.
  • Explain about dental visits in a positive matter-of-fact manner, telling the child that the dentist is a nice, helpful person.
  • Don't bribe your child into going to the dentist because this will alarm your child in thinking that there must be danger ahead.
  • Don't use dentistry as a threat of punishment for your child. Always be positive.
  • Don't promise your child that the dentist will or will not do certain things. The dentist should not be placed in a compromising situation where he/she is limited in what he/she can do for your child.
  • Don't promise your child the dentist will not hurt him/her. Lying only leads to disappointment and mistrust.
  • Don't ask your child if he/she wants the treatment. (For example, don't say, "Do you want to have your cavities filled?")
  • Once you are at the dental office, please follow the dentist’s instructions closely. IF you do as the dentist asks, then your child will follow you example.
  • When the hygienist/dentist starts a dental procedure on your child, please do not grab the provider's hand under any circumstances.
  • If you want the provider to stop, request this by saying, "Hygienist/Doctor, please stop."
  • Trust the dentist to make competent decisions about your child's treatment. Ask questions if you do not understand but don't be suspicious that complicated treatment is just a money-making gimmick. Most dentists are conscientious health care providers who have taken an oath to do only what's best for their patients.
  • Bring your child to the dental clinic for regular check-ups every six months

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