Going to the dentist can be a daunting experience, even for adults. There’s really nothing fun about the whole ordeal, but it’s a part of a healthy lifestyle. Your kids should have regular checkups and cleanings to ensure they develop good oral hygiene habits from a young age. Just as you don’t enjoy the dentist, your child may not either, but it’s your responsibility to change the narrative. Getting your kids excited about a dentist visit will make the process much easier and less stressful for everybody.
Your kids will follow your lead, and by using these tactics, you can make the dentist seem a little less scary.
Choose a child-friendly dentist
With children, it’s all about approach. Dental offices that know how to approach and speak to children are crucial to establishing a good relationship from the beginning. You want your child to feel comfortable and trust the dentist and the other staff. Having a waiting room with toys or tv shows playing will help to keep the calm leading up to the appointment. They don’t need to be a pediatric-specific dentist but visiting the office first before committing to an appointment will allow you to get a feel for the facility and the staff. A quality, well-rounded dental practise like SV Dental Centre, will offer a full range of services for the whole family.
Preparation is key
Kids may like surprises, such as a new toy or candy, but going to the dentist is not one of those. Preparing your children for the dentist will help them feel more relaxed and calmer when the time comes. Start with playing a bit of pretend at home. Do a roleplay of your kid having an appointment at the dentist. You can start by being the dentist and then let them have a turn checking your teeth. When you finally go to the appointment, they have an idea of what to expect and will be less likely to freak out.
Keep everything positive
From a young age, always maintain a positive attitude around oral hygiene. Make sure you focus on the benefits of brushing, flossing, and going to the dentist. Be over-the-top about your love for the dentist and how beautiful it makes your smile. Oral hygiene should not be something that you’re continually forcing your kids to do. They need to want to do it. Use fun songs or videos to promote positivity and optimism around oral hygiene.
Use a reward system
Children respond well to positive feedback and receiving rewards for their achievements. While it might seem small, a smooth-running trip to the dentist is something to be proud of. It’s not about bribing your kids but instead giving them something positive to associate with a dentist’s appointment. Maybe each time you go to the dentist, you go to their favourite restaurant for lunch after. If there is some specific place that they love, like the local park or going to see horses than include that on their appointment day.