Dental Assistant

How to Make Children Comfortable at the Dentist after Dental Assistant School

August 30, 2019

Frightened child boy in dental clinic. Fear of the dentist.

 

The prospect of going to the dentist is pretty frightening for a lot of children. If you want to be a dental assistant, an ability to help children feel calm and comfortable in the dentist’s office will be a big asset in your career. Simply being capable of projecting calm and confidence can help children feel relaxed, which in turn makes your and the dentist’s jobs much easier.

For a child, even a brief annual check-up can seem daunting. If you are someone who is great around children, and you combine that personality with the appropriate training, you could thrive in your career in the dental office. Read on to learn how you can help children feel less nervous about going to the dentist.

Stay Positive Around Children So That They Know They Are in Safe Hands

As a health professional, you want to stay upbeat around children without misleading them. Saying things like “this won’t take long and you won’t feel a thing” may actually be counterproductive. After all, it may not be true! If the appointment goes longer than expected or if the child does feel some discomfort, then they are going to feel misled. Instead, tell them how brave they are being and talk about how you’re helping make sure their smile is like brand new. Likewise, avoid words like “pain” and “hurt” as these may make children fearful of what is to come.

Staying positive can help children feel more comfortable at the dentist’s office

Explain What You’re Doing So That the Process Doesn’t Seem So Frightening

Because of your healthcare courses, you’ll know a lot about the tools, materials, and processes you’ll be using. You can use this knowledge to help put children who are in the dentist’s chair at ease. For example, you can talk about what each instrument that you’re using does. Of course, you don’t want to go into too much detail—these are children after all!—but talking about how certain instruments help get nasty plaque off of their teeth will help dispel some of the mystery and fear surrounding the dentist’s office. You could even turn it into a game by talking about how you are hunting down “plaque monsters” or “cavity trolls” with your special dental assistant tools!

Your Knowledge From Dental Assistant School Can Help Build Trust with Children

If children trust you, they will feel much more comfortable at the dentist’s office. For health professionals, one way to establish trust is through knowledge. If patients can see that you are knowledgeable about your profession, you make yourself a person they can more easily trust. That applies for patients of all ages, including children.

You can use your knowledge from dental assistant school to help children feel safe

Fortunately, dental assistant school is an opportunity to gain a lot of knowledge about dentistry and the dental assistant profession. For example, you’ll learn about preventive dental procedures, dental radiography, and pharmacology. Of course, you don’t need to explain these concepts to children in much detail, but talking to them about how much training you did can help them feel well taken care of.

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