Taking your child to the dentist does not have to be a dreaded task. Here are ten tips for making your dentist visit kid-friendly.
If your child gets nervous going to the dentist, it is a great idea to bring along a distraction. You can pack their favorite toy, something to doodle on or a tablet to watch a show.
Get A Prize
Most dentists stock little treats for kids but may forget to pass them out. If the front desk staff does not offer your child a toy, ask if they have one available.
Plan a Fun Outing Afterwards
If your child is just going in for a routine cleaning, plan a fun trip for after their appointment. If they have something to look forward to, they will be more likely to behave for the dentist.
Watch Your Language
No matter what your personal feelings are about the dentist, keep negative language about dental visits to yourself. If you refer to the dentist as a scary place where you experience pain, your child will pick up on that and be terrified of their visit.
Learn About the Dentist
There are some shows, books, and podcasts for children that explain a visit to the dentist. Watch these with your child to prepare them for what they might experience. According to Carolina Crossroads Dental Care, “everyone is so fun, positive and cares so much for each and every patient.” This is something positive that you want to hear from your dentist.
Have a Dental Hygiene Routine
If your child brushes and flosses every day, their teeth and gums will be prepared for the treatment they will get at the dentist. Establish a strict dental routine from an early age to ensure the cleaning the dentist does with professional tools will be comfortable.
Tell Them What to Expect
The most distressing part of a dentist visit is the time spent in the chair. Let them know in positive language precisely what will happen. Emphasize the fun elements, such as a chair that goes up and down.
Distract them in the Chair
Many family dental practices have a television above the dental chair where they can play a fun movie. If your dentist does not have this, bring a tablet to entertain your child.
Your child can begin going to the dentist as soon as their first teeth appear. Teeth start to show around the one-year-old mark. The earlier they start going to the dentist, the more they will think of dental visits as just a regular part of life.
Play Dentist at Home
You can begin preparing your child for a positive dental experience by playing pretend dentist at home. Go through the routine of waiting in a waiting room, putting them in the chair and brushing their teeth. If it is a fun game they play at home, it will be a more positive experience when the real thing happens.
If you follow these tips, visiting the dentist can be fun.