Discussing Common Dental Terms with Children
Have you ever tried to explain a grownup situation to a child? If you have, then you know how important it is to choose your words very carefully. It can be challenging to explain something like dental care to a child without frightening them or causing confusion. However, we know that it is important for children to understand their oral health and the value of proper oral hygiene. So, how do you choose the right words for your child when it comes to explaining dental terms? Top pediatric dentists in Charlotte offer the following suggestions:
- Keep it simple. Children can handle the facts when they are presented as simply as possible. Try to limit your discussion to the basic details, and leave out any extra discussion about what could happen or what might happen. “You are going to have the dentist count your teeth” is easier to understand than “The dentist is going to see if you have any cavities and you might have to get your teeth fixed.” If your child’s treatment needs change during the appointment, the dental team will be happy to provide the appropriate explanation for your child.
- Be honest. Sometimes dental care is uncomfortable but it is still necessary if we want to keep healthy teeth and healthy bodies. Children are better able to process that idea than you might think. As adults, we can earn the trust of a child when we are honest about how something feels or tastes as long as we assure them that this is what’s best for our health and our bodies.
- Break it down. Fluoride is like the vitamins that we take to make our bodies strong– except we paint these vitamins right onto our teeth instead of chewing them. Dental xrays are simply pictures of our teeth. Bacteria are tiny germs. The dental hygienist ‘brushes’ our teeth with an ‘electric toothbrush’. We floss to clean the germs from between the teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach.
Dental care doesn’t have to be scary or confusing when you are armed with the appropriate words. For more advice on discussing dental treatment with children, consult a pediatric dentist in Charlotte today.