How Do I Explain Dental Treatment to My Toddler?

Just For Kids Dental

1) Do not use any words which would cause anxiety. It can be difficult to explain what will happen at the child’s appointment; good thing is, you don’t have to! Find a pediatric dental office with staff and dentists you trust. They will be more than capable of breaking things down on a child’s level. In fact, pediatric dentists have their own vocabulary! Never use words like pain, shot, hurt, etc. Use words like this:

  • Shot/Injection =Bubble, Sleepy Juice
  • Cavities/Decay = Sugar Bugs, Sugar Monsters
  • Infection/Abscess = Sick Tooth
  • Drill =Super Fast Toothbrush
  • Numb =Asleep

So, a conversation with a 4 year old at our office would go something like this:

“Good morning Janie! Dr. A is going to fix your sick tooth today. We are going to clean off all those sugar bugs with our super fast, cool toothbrush.”  The trick is to answer questions, but…

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Which is better thumb sucking or a pacifier?

Just For Kids Dental

From reading the research, it appears one can conclude that if the parents have a choice between thumb sucking and pacifier use – choose the pacifier. According to the dentists at Just for Kids Dental, a pacifier is their choice as well.

Pros to Pacifier Use:

  • Protection against SIDS
  • Helps babies learn to self-soothe
  • It satisfies the suck reflex
  • Easier weaning

Cons to Pacifier Use:

  • May lead to as many as 40% more ear infections
  • Nipple confusion if given to a newborn too young
  • Parent may accidently give pacifier when baby is crying for nutrition
  • Delayed Speech
  • Misaligned Teeth

Pros to Thumbsucking:

  • It’s always available
  • Much easier to teach children to pacify themselves


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