Oral Surgery for Children: What to tell your child before their visit to our office. When less is better and why.

patient-comfortI love working on kids because they are so much more predictable than adults.  Here are some of my suggestions on how to prepare your child to come to our office for an exam or treatment.

My number one rule for kids is to be completely honest with them.  That may be very difficult for a parent to do without scaring their child.  The reason is that many, if not most adults, have some history of one or more traumatic dental experiences!  Fortunately, that is seldom the case with dentistry for young people today.  The best gift you can give to your child is not to pass on any dental phobias that you may have.  Kids are smart – if you tell them that they are going to the dentist and then add “but don’t worry it’s not going to hurt!”, they will probably immediately be on alert that they should be worried.   This is where less is better – and you don’t know if it’s going to hurt.  My suggestion is to tell them you have heard that most kids treated in my office don’t complain of pain – which is the truth – or you can tell them that you do not know and they can ask me.  You can say that I always tell patients all about their treatment beforehand and what they should expect.

Below are a few things that parents have  told their children that make them not believe us:

The laughing gas will make it so you don’t feel anything.

Laughing gas will put you to  sleep.

The shot won’t hurt.

The needle doesn’t go in that far.

You’re lucky your teeth aren’t like mine were – it was the most terrible thing I’ve ever done.

Lastly, don’t volunteer information unless your child asks you first.  Then be honest and if possible, give the honest answer, “I don’t know how Dr. Clarke does it, but you can ask him when we’re there”.