It’s not often that I give advice outside of dental topics but today is the day, kind of…

At Alligator Dental we see kids of all shapes and sizes, all day – every day. They are all unique and all have different personalities, skills and strengths. At times coming to the dentist can bring out anxiety and negative behavior in a child. Often the children who struggle most in the office are those who have not developed coping mechanisms for stress.

An essential ‘life lesson’ is to allow children to learn how to handle disappointment. I see many parents unwilling to allow their chi

ld to face adversity or dissatisfaction. These children then come to the dental office and when they don’t feel comfortable they become very worked up and act out.

My advice: Allow children to be disappointed from time to time; have some real time outs; learn discipline and have established structure in their lives. Being a dad of seven children I know this is not easy. The children may not like it at first but they will be so much better for it in the long run. Developing coping mechanisms for disappointment will allow children to persevere and find rainbows in stormy weather – or to play in the mud when those storms come!

Dr. Al Burns