What is a dental social story and why does a dentist have one?
A dental social story is a written and visual guide describing a particular social interaction, in our case that is a dental visit. It is designed to help describe the expected social reactions to a dental visit in a reassuring manner that is easy to understand. A dental visit is a new and sometimes stressful experience for new patients. We have found the social story is most helpful to very young patients and patients with Autism or social development delays.
About our dental social story – Going to the Dentist Social Story
We have put together a customized book for our new patients that are young children to help ease their concerns about a dental visit. This book is primarily designed for autistic children or those on the spectrum. However, the ideas implemented in the book and the idea of using the book to introduce your young child to dental care will be helpful to anyone that utilizes it. We highly recommend reading the story book together with your child a few times before your dental visit. We prefer that you do not attempt to say much else about their upcoming dental visit. The WORST MISTAKE parents make is to say things like, “Don’t worry, it won’t hurt.” Or “Don’t worry, they are nice.” Despite the good intentions of such statements you make the assumption and imprint it onto your child that they should worry or be afraid of coming. Saying nothing is MUCH better than telling them not to worry.
You can pick up a copy of this book at our office at any time. If you scheduled your first visit far enough out from your initial phone call, we will be sending you a paper copy of the book in the mail. Our goal is to introduce dentistry to your child in the best possible manner to ensure that their formative years are filled with good or at least neutral memories of dentistry. The techniques we utilize in our office will help ensure that your child’s first visit goes as well as humanly possible. Thank you for caring enough about the process of your child’s dental care that you read this and hopefully you can find the time to utilize our social story.