It’s time to take your child to the dentist! In a perfect world, they would be jumping for joy, excited at the thought of getting their teeth cleaned. But most likely, you’re dealing with tears, temper tantrums, and feeling pretty bad for your kid. So how do you prepare your child for their first dentist appointment? How do you convince them that it will be okay? We’ve outlined 5 tips to prepare your kid for the dentist, and hopefully even make them excited.
Choose a good dentist for kids.
First things first, don’t plan on taking your child to just any dentist. After all your work to make sure your child isn’t scared of the dentist, make sure that the place you take them to doesn’t give them a reason to be. Do some research, ask around to other parents, and don’t rely on just taking them to your dentist (who may or may not be as good with kids as they are with you).
Show your child books and TV shows about the dentist.
If they see their favorite characters going to the dentist, they’ll be more inspired to do it, too. There are plenty of books especially for first dentists appointments, like My Dentist, My Friend. This one is especially good because it doesn’t bring up any of the negatives of the dentist, like tooth pain.
Talk to your kids about the dentist.
Make sure you talk to them if they express any fears. Tell them how easy it will be, and add how much fun. Let them know they’ll walk out with sparkly, shiny teeth! Be honest, but try to steer the conversation away from any negatives.
Practice going to the dentist at home.
After you talk to them, show them what it might be like. There are a few dental care basics you can keep in mind while you are your infant or toddlers personal dentist. Turn it into a game at home, and the real thing won’t seem so scary. Be gentle, and they’ll see that it won’t be so scary when the time comes. Or switch roles and let them play pretend dentist on you!
Don’t let them see you nervous about the dentist.
If you get nervous about going to the dentist yourself, don’t let them see it – fear of the dentist can actually get passed on from parent to child. On the other hand, if you express excitement, they’ll pick up on that and start feeling a little bit better about it too.
Dealing with an older child?
If you have an older child or even a teenager who is nervous about the dentist, there are still some things you can do to help. Make sure you choose a dentist who works with patients who have dental fear. Many will provide anti-anxiety medication or use more gentler methods. You can also set up a meeting where the dentist won’t even touch their teeth to help them be more comfortable when they go in for an actual teeth cleaning.
Are you searching for a dentist that will keep your child at ease? Schedule an appointment with Creating Smiles!