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A Child Sees A Dentist

Mar 15, 2008
Do you experience the difficulty to bring a child to see a dentist? I met difficulties to bring my child to see a dentist when he was 3 years old because he had a lot of tartar. He was scared when he sat on the dentist chair. We brought him a few times to dentist clinic to get him familiar to the environment. Finally, we brought him to a dental clinic for the children with a conducive environment for children. The dentist is well trained in looking after the small children. I practised the following ways to lessen the anxiety of my son and I find it useful for me therefore I would like to suggest the following ways for parents:

Prepare your child for the dental appointment

The parents can tell the child the date, time, place and reason for the appointment. Parents can describe the environment of the clinic and people there. For instance, I said to my son, "I shall bring you to see a dentist to check whether your teeth are clean next Monday at 3:00pm at Children's Dental Clinic. Dr. Lai is a caring dentist and she can help to clean your teeth. We can go there half an hour earlier so we can play in the playroom first."

Bring along children's favourite toys and for medical treatment

Some of the parents will bring along children's favourite toys, such as cars, soft toys, story books and so on, so the toys can help to occupy their waiting time to see a dentist or distract them. It is because the longer waiting time, the higher anxiety and insecurity levels for children. The sense of security will be increased with the presence of their favourite toys.

Role-Playing

It is an effective way for the child to learn how to handle a real-life situation. Sometimes, the parents can play the role of a doctor or dentist, nurse or patient at home. The children will have a chance to experience different roles through role-playing. In addition, you can ask the dentist to explain to the children about the procedure and equipment. It helps to lower the anxiety of children by knowing what is going to happen to them.

In my experience, the child loves to be a dentist because they can develop sense of mastery or control over the situation. Through preparation, distraction, role-play games, they help to prepare them psychologically for the dental consultation and treatment.

Disclaimers: The author shares this article based on her personal and work experience and disclaims any responsibility for any liability, losses or damages and /or application of any of contents of this article.
About the Author
Ms Mak Wai Chong, a mother of 3 children, is a freelance trainer and counsellor. She has worked as social worker and counsellor for 17 years. Visit her website at WiseParents.net for prenatal training and parenting information and FREE newsletters.
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