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Talking to Family Members Who Need Dental Work

Posted on 10/30/2016 by Anthony M. DiCesare
An elderly woman receiving her first dental exam, after years of not seeking treatment.
If you have a loved one who is in obvious need of dental work, talking with him or her about it can be a touchy prospect, to say the least.

You don't want to offend or hurt his or her feelings, yet something really does need to be done. Here are a few things to consider before having the conversation.

Pick The Best Time
Don't bring the subject up right in the middle of a busy part of the day, when you cannot sit down with them and really talk things over. It's better to wait for a time when you don't expect any distractions or inconveniences. The last thing you want is to start the conversation only to have it interrupted repeatedly.

Choose Your Words Carefully
Try to approach the subject as a gentle suggestion rather than a harsh criticism. Instead of saying, "Your teeth look horrible and must be straightened!" try saying something like, "I was reading about new developments in dentistry, and they now have a way to straighten your teeth by using clear retainer systems. Have you ever thought about checking into that?"

Be Empathetic
No matter how diplomatically you phrase it, chances are your loved one is going to be a little bit embarrassed about the subject. At the same time, you can be sure that he or she is aware of his or her dental issues, so don't waste time arguing with them. Try to understand their embarrassment and come across as someone who is on their side, not someone who is pointing out their issues.

Be Reassuring
You might want to start the conversation by telling them that you love them, and at the close reiterate that point. You want them to know that you are supportive of them and are simply looking out for their best interests.

Having this talk is never easy, but by following these tips you can minimize the embarrassment for everyone.

Please contact us if you have any questions about helping your family members restore their smiles.

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