Pediatric dentists are specially trained in creating a welcoming and safe environment for all children, especially anxious children. We have many behavior management techniques that allow us to perform “magic” on children and create a positive first experience in a dental setting.
As a parent, how can you be of help before bringing your child into his/her first visit? First, describe the setting as a fun place. Don’t get technical and absolutely at NO time, use the words, “needle”, “anesthesia”, “pull out”, “shot” among others. Leave that to us; we will get the information across, without lying to your child, but with the appropriate language. Using the right words can get us very far.
Other than having the entire office environment designed to fit your child’s world, there are several techniques that are applied that are of great help.
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Tell – Show – Do
We commonly use a technique called tell-show-do, where we explain the procedure, demonstrate it on the child’s hand and then we perform the procedure on the child. This allows the child to visualize and feel in a similar way what he/she is going to feel once it’s done in the mouth. This is a great fun tool. With this technique, we introduce many of the things we will be using. For example, “Mr Slurpy” is our name for the suction; the “airplane” is our name for the “drill,” among many other analogies.
We combine this technique with the Positive Reinforcement technique, constantly complementing and praising throughout and, of course, rewarding them at the end with a special prize from our surprise toy box.