How you approach talking about the dentist around your child can have a significant impact on how your child ultimately views going the dentist, so it is important to choose the language you use carefully when talking about the dentist. Here are some tips to consider as you introduce your child to the idea of going to the dentist.

Avoid words that could cause unnecessary fear.

Words like “shot,” “pull,” “drill,” “hurt,” and “scary” will likely instill fear in your child, so do your best to avoid using them as you talk about the dental visit. Here at the office, we are well versed in using alternate words that convey the same meaning without frightening your child. When in doubt, you can let us explain the finer details of the dental visit to your child.

Use simpler terms that your child will understand.

In addition to words that instill fear in your child, there are words that could simply instill confusion. Your child, for example, might not know yet what a cavity, filling, or X-ray is. Confusion can be just as off-putting as fear, so be sure to use simpler terms when discussing a dental visit. You might, for example, explain to your child that the dentist is going to look for “sugar bugs” and clean them away, or you might tell your child that the dentist is simply going to check their smile and count their teeth—much simpler than words like “examination” or “X-ray.” Our staff is great at introducing new terms to children and at explaining dental processes in ways that will sit well with them.

Use a positive tone.

Positive speech includes using a positive tone as well. Be sure that as you discuss your child’s upcoming dental visit, you discuss it with optimism. Talk to your child about the benefits of visiting the dentist regularly and about how great this will be for his or her dental health. Smile and use positive body language as well. If you adopt a positive tone as you talk about the dentist, your child is sure to pick up on your positivity.