For children, the thought of the dentist can conjure up scary images of drills, needles and unusual instruments.
A child who isn’t prepared for their first dentist visit might be anxious and frightened, setting them up for a negative experience that they will remember for years to come.
By preparing your child for a positive experience, you set them up for a future of healthy oral care.
The following tips are helpful ways to ease your child’s anxiety in the dentist’s chair.
Bringing your child to the dentist from an early age will make the procedure familiar and more comfortable.
Incorporating routine visits to the dentist early in your child’s life will make it a routine process rather than a dreaded production.
Practice At Home
Turn dentist visits into a fun game by practicing at home. Set up a “dentist’s office” in your own home – all you need is a chair, a toothbrush and a mirror.
Pretend to be the dentist and walk them through some of the procedures that would really take place at the dentist’s office.
Count their teeth and pretend to clean them.
Then switch places and let them be the dentist, letting them pretend to clean your teeth or their favorite stuffed animals!
By talking about what they can expect, you can dissipate some of the mystery surrounding their upcoming dental visit. Just be sure to speak in simple terms – too many details may cause anxiety.
Tell them the dentist just wants to look at their smile to make sure their teeth are nice and clean.
A Dentist in Draper, Utah encourages you to avoid scary works like “drill,” “hurt,” and “shot.” But you should let them know what to expect at their visit.
Set an Example
Setting a positive example for your kid’s starts with your regular dental care routine.
Make sure they see you brush and floss and stress to them the importance of having healthy teeth and gums. If you’re comfortable, you can even bring your child with you to your next routine cleaning.
Sit With your Child
Ask your child’s dentist if you can sit nearby during their procedure.
Sometimes your presence is all it takes to ensure your child they’re safe.
Consider bringing along their favorite stuffed animal or blanket for added comfort.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Promising a reward in preparation for the visit can send the message there’s something scary ahead. Instead, praise your child for good behavior after their visit.
Tell them how proud you are of them for being brave and taking good care of their teeth.
Properly preparing your child for a trip to the dentist will help turn it from a dreaded chore to the routine checkup it’s meant to be.
By starting early, preparing beforehand and using positive reinforcement, you can help your child to have a drama-free experience and set them up for a life of healthy oral care.