Welcome to the forum. I'm both a mom of two boys (3 & 4) and a Dentist. Since you expressed concern regarding Dental Phobia that both you and your children have, I thought I'd share a few tips/tricks that I use for both my patients and my children:
Bring an iPod that with music that you (or your kids) enjoy and find calming. This technique is actually so effective that at my office, we have office iPods (with disposable earbuds) that we supply to our nervous patients.
Talking to your kids weeks/days in advance and talk through any concerns or fears they may have. For many people with Dental Phobia, the thought/fear of going to the Dentist is normally much worse then what they experience when they get there.
Ask your Dentist or Hygienist to explain what they’re going to do, before they do it. Having the procedure explained in advance takes the 'unknown' out of the equation and helps people relax. I actually prefer to talk with my patients throughout the procedure, telling them what I'm doing, when I'm doing it. I also like to tell them when the 'worst part is over', this technique helps people relax for two reasons #1 - The steps precluding that statement 'the worst part' are never that bad. #2 - They realize that if they could handle the 'worst part' with such ease, the rest of the procedure will be a breeze. When this happens, I'll see through people's body language that they're relaxed and the fear is gone.
Try having your kids hold the suction (it'll helps distract their minds, while the treatments are being performed).
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas) can be an option. In more extreme cases, sleep dentistry might be required.
Let your kids know that they'll receive some kind of reward for good behaviour after the appointment. If your kids behave well, reward them for it.
Lastly use games/cartoons to help your kids gain a better understanding of what happens at the Dentist. Not sure how old your kids are, but I have links on my website (http://greatlakesdental.ca/kids-corner/
) that are helpful for younger children.
Dr. Jennifer Thomm
Sarnia, Ontario Canada
Great Lakes Dental