Tips for Success At The Dentist: Kid Talk

Always  stay  positive  and  discuss  dental  health  in  a  positive  way  with  your child.

Dentistry can be stressful. Staying positive helps direct your child's emotional energy towards the good that comes from visiting the dentist. We can easily forget that the dentist more often helps to prevent discomfort and pain with regular check-ups and early diagnosis.

Refrain from using words such as, "hurt, shot, needle, and pain."

These words invoke negative emotions that can create a level of anxiety in a child that makes it difficult for them to trust the dentist. Remember, children do not have the coping skill adults do. As pediatric dentists we attempt to create a positive atmosphere, where the child feels supported and safe. Using terms that create a negative impression  of  either the dentist or office will affect  the child's perception  thus  compromising  their  ability to relax. You can visit our website and download our Kid Talk: Pediatric Dentistry Vocabulary Sheet to review how we describe the instruments and procedures to our patients.

Role Play.

For younger children role-playing is extremely helpful in alleviating fear and introducing a new experience. A week before their appointment  role-play  what is going to  happen. For example: Pick a chair  that can serve as the  dental chair and pretend with your child that they are going to visit  the dentist. Take them through  the  major parts of the experience. You can even use a battery-powered toothbrush  to  introduce the child to the hand piece the hygienist uses to clean teeth. Do this a few days in a row before bringing your child and you will be amazed how  well they do. It  is important to start a few days, to  a week before the appointment. That way if your child shows any resistance you will have a few days to work with them. Routine helps to foster familiarity which in turn decreases fear. If you have any questions about the upcoming appointment please give our office a call so we can help you prepare for your child's visit .

Pick a Parent.

Kids will behave differently depending on which parent they are with Additionally, during stressful times having both parents present often does not help, as most anxiety in children increases with the more voices they hear. Think about it a situation must not be good if both mom and dad are trying to comfort me! We allow one parent back in the room with the child during treatment. On special occasions we will permit two, but this is at the discretion of the doctor. It is important that the child listens and responds to the doctor .When too many people are in the room this often does not happen and treatment is unable to be completed. The parent, with whom the child will behave the best, should be the one to accompany the child. This does not always mean the parent whom the child will more likely agree with, but the parent whom the child will respond  to if there would be defiant behavior or the  child does not  want to cooperate. This is why we allow parents in the room. You are their constant, their source of assurance and stability. To bring any negative emotions , or past experiences into your child's encounter can negatively affect the out come. Your support for your child during the appointment is both helpful and encouraged. Remember, dentistry is micro-surgery in the mouth, and children at times require direction and discipline to ensure cooperation. It is my job to coach your child through the experience, and your job to enforce the rules if necessary.

Trust the TEAM.

We are here to help you, help your child receive dental care in a safe and fun way. We have helped thousands of kids have a positive experience at our dental office. Sometimes as parents we can let our own emotions and fears cloud our judgment. Dentistry can be at times uncomfortable and it is up to the dental team to help you, help your child understand how to psychologically cope and handle those moments. We have been trained, and have countless hours of experience, utilizing techniques to accomplish this. There is always a reason behind our methods. Everything we do and say is focused on helping coach the child through treatment . We want your child to have a positive experience, however sometimes children do not want to help. If it  becomes necessary to  complete treatment for  an uncooperative  child, we will do so in a caring and safe way, with your per mission .

Our door and TEAM are always available to discuss any of the topics mentioned above. Please do not hesitate to contact our off ice if you have any questions or concerns regarding your child's needs.

Thank you for trusting us with your child's oral health!

Kid Talk: Pediatric Dental Vocabulary Sheet

It is not what we say, but how we say things that make a difference

Dental Tools

Air Spray-Wind

Alginate - Play-dough for teeth/ helps to make models/ mashed potatoes

Amalgam - Tooth concrete/ tooth play-dough

Bands- Tooth Rings

Bristle polishers- Fantasia mops

Burs- Brushes/ Spoons

Cotton Rolls- Tooth pillows/ tongue pillows

Curing Light - Flashlight/ mouth light/ tooth light

Elevator- Tooth pusher/ lifter/ wiggler

Explorer - Dora's explorer /Tooth checker

Extraction Forceps- Tooth huggers/holder

Extracted Tooth- Tooth fairy present

Floss- Silly string/ tooth jump rope

Fluoride- Vitamins/sparkle gloss/pixie dust/ force field

Gloves - Keep our hands dry from spit, you don't want spit on your hands!

High Evac Suction - Vacuum cleaner/ super straw/ mouth cleaner

High Speed - Mr. Whistle/ Speed Brush

Isodry/Isolite - Flip Flop/ mouth couch

Mask - Sneeze Catcher/ helps to not pass germs

Mirror - Barbie mirror/ tooth mirror

Mouth prop- Tooth chair/tooth pillow

Panoramic - Picture of your face/ spaceship

RD Clamps- Rings

Resin- White Star/ white play-dough/ Tooth material

Rubber Dam - Raincoat

Saliva Ejector- Spit straw

Sealant- Paint to protect your tooth

Shot- Sleepy Juice/ sleepy water for your tooth

Slow Speed- Mr. Bumpy/ brush to clean your tooth

Space maintainers - Tooth jewelry/ space holders

5SC- Princess crown/ tooth jewelry/ tooth hard hat

X-rays - Pictures of teeth


  • Injections - "The Shot"
  • Coaching becomes very important
  • Place on Nitrous if indicated
  • Topical placed after drying and kept dry
  • Explain to the child that Dr. is going to spray a little sleepy juice/water on their tooth to make it feel good. We all like juice, teeth love sleepy juice!
  • Doctor is the only one talking to the child if child becomes distressed
  • Remember to tell the child to keep their eyes open, watching what is on TV
  • When we close our eyes it makes our other sense go crazy
  • Have "Spit Sucker" ready to suction as soon as injection is complete
  • "May feel a pinch like a mosquito bite"
  • Assist in helping the patient stay calm, and watch their hands!


  • We brush sugar bugs off your teeth to get them clean
  • We brush food out of your
  • teeth. Are you saving that for a snack?
  • High Speed Hand Piece
  • You are going to hear a whistle sound, can you whistle?
  • Do you feel that air in your hair? Now you are going to feel some air on your tooth, let's practice.
  • Slow Speed Hand piece
  • This brush is going to feel a little bumpy. Have you have been in a car with a bumpy road?
  • This brush is going to shake your tooth a little, it might tickle
  • Condensing the amalgam sounds like walking on the snow
  • We place a silver hat on your tooth to protect it from getting any sicker
  • We place a silver crown on your tooth so that it will be strong
  • Sealants are a clear coating we place on your teeth to protect them from getting cavities -easy to do like polishing your teeth


  • Ask to hold their hand, and then ask them to squeeze your hand as hard as they can. Make the association that pressure does not hurt, but it can feel a little uncomfortable
  • Extraction you'll feel pressure and hear crunchy noises like snap crackle and pop rice crispies
  • When using a periotome you can say "I am drawing a circle around your tooth, if you feel any pinches raise your hand"
  • Elevating the periosteum-checking to see if the tooth is sleeping
  • Wiggling the tooth is dancing, or swaying in the wind

Space Maintainers

  • Holding arches are "spacers", they create space and hold it so your big teeth can have room
  • Baby Braces without the wires in the front
  • A special retainer that you don't have to worry about your dog eating

 Let’s Grow, Play, and Smile Together.

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