5 Tips to Get Your Kids Excited for the Dentist
Going to the dentist for the first time can intimidate kids. The dentist has new objects, smells and people. It is understandable for kids to get nervous. However, going to the dentist can be something they look forward to. Let your kids know this is a good experience. You can help them enjoy the dentist by doing some extra things during their visit.
Here are some things you can do to help get them excited:
If your child is nervous about their dentist visit make sure you talk to them about it. Explain the dentist helps make their teeth healthy and clean. Use terms that are positive and inviting. This is a great opportunity for you to talk about keeping good hygiene. Your child takes cues from you, so make sure you are calm about the experience.
If you get anxious about visits, try to avoid having your appointment at the same time. Your child will feel your unease, and think something is wrong about the dentists.
Read a children’s book about what the dentist does. They can see what the experience will be like before they go. Your child will know what to expect and feel confident. The book will help them see other’s enjoying the experience and get more excited to go.
Don’t bring up negative experiences you have had in the past. Using words like “extraction, root canal, and surgery” can trigger anxiety. Help them see that a dentist is there to help.
Kids should visit the dentist within six months after they get their first tooth or before their first birthday. This allows the dentist to anticipate dental concerns and ensure proper development. It is important to take care of the kid’s baby teeth. Here is a list of reasons why baby teeth hygiene is important:
- Speech Development
- Permanent Teeth Development
- Ability to Chew
- Confidence in Their Smile
If you take your child around their first birthday, they will likely be too young to be nervous. By the time they get older, your child will be used to dentist visits. Some parents wait until their child is closer to two years old. At this age children are more prone to develop anxiety in new situations.
Ask the dentist if you can drop in during your child’s checkup. You child will feel more comfortable if a familiar face is in the room with them. Make sure to act calm and collected while you're in the room. Give the dentist and dental assistants plenty of room. Just keep eye contact with your child. This will help them relax and the next time they go back they will be more confident about the visit.
It may also be helpful to have them drop in on one of your checkups. This will help them understand that there is nothing to be nervous about. You child can see what the dentist does from a distance. They will know what is going on when they come for their visit. Your example can make a major difference in how they feel about dentist visits.
Avoid offering treats for good behavior. If you offer a treat, your child will think there is something wrong. Getting a reward implies that a child would normally be bad at the office, so they need a treat to make sure they are good. It may set their expectation for a negative experience they have to endure through.
Remember there is no reason to reward them for an exciting experience at the dentists. Approach the visit with enthusiasm and positive energy.
Most dentists offer goody bags at the end of the visit. If your dentists offer them, feel free to let your child know that the gift is all part of the fun experience. Rather, than a reward for enduring the bad stuff.
Before you go to the dentist consider playing dentist with your kids. This will help your child get the feel of what the dentist’s office is like in a fun way. The more familiar you can make the experience, the better.
Here are some fun actives you can do for your practice dentist visit:
- Sit in reclining chair
- Look at teeth with a mirror
- Take pictures
- Count teeth
- Use tooth brush to clean
Avoid lining up instruments and drilling noises. Make sure it’s positive and not intimidating for them. Playing dentist will help them know what to expect.
A child’s first visit to the dentist can be exciting and fun. Help them feel at ease with your positive attitude. Try and get a feel for how they feel about the dentist before you go so you can help them if needed. Start good habits like going to the dentist at a young age.
Now that your child is ready for the dentist, make sure you visit at least twice a year. Call Ivory Dental Centre to schedule your child’s appointment today!