These visual stories provide information about what to expect when going to the dentist. Social stories cover going to the dentist, getting teeth cleaned, getting x-rays and getting a cavity filled. These stories were developed in collaboration with UPMC Public Health Dental Clinic staff.
A dental hygienist will clean and check my teeth. They know how to help keep my teeth clean and healthy. When I get to the exam room, I will sit in a big comfortable chair that goes up and down and lays back like I am sleeping. They will clip a paper bib around my neck to keep my clothes clean. The bib may feel crinkly and make noise. They will shine a bright light on my mouth so they can see to clean my teeth. If the light is bright I can close my eyes or wear sunglasses. I will open my mouth wide and lie still while the dental hygienist cleans my teeth. They will clean my teeth with special dental tools that make noise and tickle my teeth. They will use special toothpaste that may feel sandy. They will squirt water or blow air on my teeth. They will use a big straw that’s like a vacuum and sucks up the spit bubbles and water in my mouth. They will use string, called floss, to clean in between my teeth. The dentist will look at my teeth with the special dental tools and count my teeth. They will paint special fluoride vitamins on my teeth. This may make my teeth feel sticky. When I’m done I will get a new toothbrush and might get to choose a special prize. Page 1 of 12 Previous Page 1 of 12 Next When I go to the dentist I may need to have x-rays of my teeth. I will sit in a dental chair. An x-ray shield, which will feel like a heavy blanket, will be put on top of me to protect me. They will put a holder in my mouth to take the x-ray. They will use either a thick film or a digital sensor attached to the x-ray holder. They will place the holder in my mouth to take an x-ray. I will bite down. It may be a little uncomfortable. I need to stay still while they put the camera next to my face for the x-ray. I can take deep breaths to stay relaxed. I will hear a beep when they take the x-ray. They will take the holder out of my mouth. They might move it to take another x-ray or put it away if they’re done taking x-rays. Once they are done the pictures may get printed or shown on a computer. The dentist will look at the x-rays to make sure my teeth are healthy. Page 1 of 12 Previous Page 1 of 12 Next
There may be a time when your dentist tells you that you have a cavity that needs to be filled. You will go to the dentist for your appointment and check in at the front desk. Then wait in the waiting room until it is your turn. When you go into the examination room, you will sit in the large chair and the staff will place a bib on you. They will put a gel medicine in your mouth to help make your tooth not hurt. This will make your mouth feel funny but it won’t hurt. Sometimes they will use a nose covering during your appointment to make you more relaxed and comfortable. Then they will use tools to prepare your tooth to be fixed. Some tools might make sounds, vibrate, or spray water. Next they will apply a sour blue gel to your tooth. It will sit on your tooth for a few seconds. Then they will rinse your tooth with water and use a big straw to suck it out of your mouth. Next they will fill in your tooth. They might use the same tools as before and use a light to harden the filling material. They will do a final rinse of your mouth at the end of placing your filling. Now your filling is complete. You will be given instructions on how long you need to wait to eat and/or drink. Page 1 of 12 Previous Page 1 of 12 Next