Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Dental Visits: Words Matter!

Words matter! As teachers and families we can say something that we think may be encouragement, but it may have an unintended consequence. Think about the idea of fractions. Math teachers know that many young children have an aversion to fractions. Some attribute this to asking young children, who are still in the egocentric stage of development, to give away half of a cookie or other treat. This sets some children up to dislike fractions. 

Many children have a fear of the dentist. For some we need to coax them to go, amid tears. See our post here about overcoming fear of the dentist and here detailing ideas how to make dental health fun. In addition, we need to consider how we talk to children about visits to the dentist. 

Often families might say something like this, "You better brush your teeth or you will need to go to the dentist." Consider how this can easily be perceived as something to fear by a child. It sounds like a punishment, doesn't it? 

We can help families understand that giving positive directions equals a more positive attitude. Think about how the above sentence could be changed to, "Wow, I can't wait for your next trip to the dentist. She will be so impressed with your big smile." 

Be sure your words are ones that are reassuring and enthusiastic so children will have a more favorable outlook about their dental appointment. 

This child overcame his fear of the dentist and now looks forward to visits.
Please feel free to share our dental health links with families!

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