At Kelowna Dental Solutions, we want to provide all of our patients with the best possible dental experience.
When your child has dental treatment, it can be a very exciting experience for both of you. We want our patients to LOVE coming to see us, and we are proud to say that most of them do!
Some children need their parents to accompany them into the clinical area, but in most cases, the child is a lot more comfortable during the visit if their parents are not present. There are a number of factors to consider when preparing for your child’s treatment visits.
1. Most children adapt very well to new surroundings and new things. Children are often at ease immediately upon entering the clinic because the staff at our office all love children and do an excellent job of highlighting the fun parts of the appointment and explaining our procedure in a kid-friendly and fun way. Parents try their best to prepare their children for the first visit, and although they mean well, parents can often dishearten their children with their descriptions of dental treatments. Parents often don't know the particulars of the appointment and end up unintentionally highlighting the wrong things when describing dental procedures. Parents often say things like: “Don't worry, it won't hurt.” Children immediately think “Should I worry, is this going to hurt? Why would he/she say that?”
2. Parents are very interested in dental procedures. They often don't intend to ask questions, but sometimes they can't help themselves. If the parent comes in for the appointment, the clinician's energy can end up being divided between answering the parent's questions and focusing on the child. It is very important that your child is the dentist or dental hygienist’s number one priority during their appointments. At the end of the visit, there is time set aside for all questions and discussions about the procedure that took place. It is in the best interest of your child that all questions either take place before the treatment or are held until the end of the appointment so the dental professionals can be as attentive as possible to the patient during the treatment itself.
3. When parents come in to observe dental procedures, it can have a negative effect on the child's experience for one very important reason. Parents think that when they come in for their child's visit, they are being supportive. What they don't realise is that when their child is lying back in the chair, they can't see what is going on around them. As soon as the parent attempts to be soothing to the child (i.e. holding the child's hand or touching their leg), the child interprets this as a situation where they should be afraid, like something scary is going to happen next that they can't see yet. The child might then start reacting to this even if they normally wouldn’t. In our experience, this usually doesn’t happen if the parent is out in the reception area.
4. Most often, parents will have questions about the dental procedure that will take place for their child. This is totally normal and we are happy to answer your questions. That being said, if a parent wants specific details about the dental procedure, (i.e. “will they get a needle, how long will the procedure take, etc.) it’s probably better to discuss those details without your child in the room. We are happy to discuss any details you would like with you, but please be mindful that it may be a more positive experience for your child if they don’t know the exact details of the dental procedure in advance.
Dental treatments can be a really fun and exciting experience for your child. Most kids really enjoy their dental visits at our office! There are a lot of cool gadgets that they don’t normally get to see, and the entire appointment is about them and only them! It’s important that you, as a parent, do everything you can to set them up for success so they can have a positive experience at the clinic. Resist the urge to comfort, and instead focus on finding fun and positive ways to get them ready for their visit.
We look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment with Kelowna Dental Solutions. If you do your part leading up to the treatment, we’ll do ours. Together, we can do everything possible to make sure your little one leaves the office with a big healthy smile!