Handling of child in the Paediatric dental clinic
Children have varying attitudes and temperaments. No two children are the same. In fact, the same child on different days may behave differently!
Managing different behaviours, at the same time instilling a positive dental attitude is one of the greatest challenges of paediatric dentistry and paediatric dental surgeons are specifically trained in child psychology to manage child behaviour at different ages! So, let us take a small peek into the various techniques we use to our advantage:
- Audio-visual distraction: Children, especially of the age group of 5-7 years are easily distracted! So a TV screen with brightly colored cartoons or educational videos/ soothing music is a great way to keep the kids occupied while we work in their mouth.
- Modelling- Children learn a lot from their siblings/peers. Generally while treating siblings, we treat the older, more mature one first while the younger one looks on. Works like magic!
Of course, establishing communication is key. Paediatric dentists generally use soothing voices/ simple words to explain the procedure to the child. No other technique compares to this! Once we gain the child’s trust, we can work wonders!
At the same time, slightly changing to a more authoritative tone is also done in case the child is not behaving properly. Worked for our parents, right?
What can be done if your child is simply too young or too anxious or has special health care needs?
- We can use medications like nitrous oxide(laughing gas) delivered through a nose mask to keep your child relaxed throughout the procedure.
- If the child is very fearful and does not allow us to even place the nose mask, we resort to giving medicines either orally (through the mouth) or I.V, in the presence of a certified anaesthetist.
- If multiple treatments are required and we simply cannot manage in the clinic settings, it is better to go for treatment under general anaesthesia where the child is completely unconscious.
- These methods have an added advantage that they cause a bit of amnesia… so the child does not remember the details of the procedure and give an overall “feel-good” factor.
Many parents defer treatment as they feel their child is too young and finally approach us, when the pain becomes unbearable. This is not a wise thing to do, as the age of the child does not matter. It is the way we handle them, that does.
Visit your nearest clinic today and gift your child the smile they deserve!