Some children are terrified of going to the dentist, but your little one doesn’t have to live in fear. There are some steps you can take as a parent to help your child feel more comfortable walking into the dental clinic for their biannual cleaning or other care. Follow these six tips to help your child feel more relaxed and calm for every time to the dentist.
1 Keep it Positive
Keep it simple by telling your child that the dentist is going to check his or her teeth, clean them and take steps to help them keep teeth healthy. You don’t want kids to associate the dentist with pain, so be careful about the words you use. If your children are very young, you might consider making it fun by saying that the dentist will check for “sugar bugs” and help them keep teeth clean and white.
2 Play Pretend
Use a little mirror to let your child look at his or her own teeth. Allow your son or daughter to role-play by “cleaning” the teeth of stuffed animals using a toothbrush. Avoid any frightening noises or discussion of the other instruments that dentists use.
3 Books Help
Use picture books with detailed illustrations to help your child understand what to expect at the dentist. This will help children feel calm because they’ll have a good idea of what the dentist will do. This is also an excellent resource if your child does wind up needing cavities filled or other services.
4 A Little Fussing is Normal
The mouth is such a personal part of your child’s body, so it’s normal for him or her to feel a little apprehension when the dentist wants to take a look inside. Remember that it’s normal for them to be a little nervous, and they may even cry or whine. The best thing you can do to help in this situation is to stay calm yourself and reassure them that it will be okay.
5 Skip the Bribery
Kids are smart, and they know that if you’re bribing them to go someplace, it’s probably bad. Rather than promising treats in exchange for good behavior at the dentist office, talk about the importance of good oral hygiene and reassure your child that visiting the dentist on a regular basis is a necessity and not a choice.
Follow these steps to make going to the dentist will bid easier. Setting up dental hygiene so now will make a big difference for your growing child in the future. Viewing the dentist as a helpful healthcare professional rather than a frightening monster will make it easier on your child.
Information credited to Ivory Dental Centre, pediatric dentist in Surrey.