Taking your child to the dentist often results in feelings of anxiety for both you and your child. However, taking your children to the dentist doesn’t have to be a scary task. It can be an exciting time and a way for you to bond with your child. Sounds strange, right? It’s not. Here’s why:
It’s true. Kids love one-on-one time with their parents. They love routine. They love tradition. They just love their families. Going to the dentist can become a lot of whining and moping, for both parents and children, or it can be a fun day to look forward to. This can be a day of fun for both of you. Schedule an appointment, make a picnic after or go to a movie. Plan something in advance for your child to look forward to and focus on instead of the appointment. If they have something fun to think about and they can associate going to the dentist with a day of fun, they’ll start looking forward to it.
Start your kids out young. Going to the dentist is often scary because the kids don’t know what to expect. They start asking if they need to get shots, if the dentist is going to drill in their teeth, if any teeth must be removed. As your child attends regular visits, get them in the habit of asking what will happen at the next appointment so they know not to stress out. Fear comes from not knowing. Help your kids relax by getting them prepared for their next visit before they leave the dentist’s chair.
Lots of dentists are already using challenges and games to get their little patients excited about going to the dentist. Some set up a point system where kids can earn points to buy Amazon gift cards and other similar gift cards if they come in with great looking gums that have been brushed and flossed. You can create your own game with your child. The better their teeth are looking, the more points they can earn to get out of chores at home, earn money, or earn a prize.
Some kids are naturally curious little beings and want to know everything. Talk to your kids about the biology of the mouth or the science of dentistry. Watch Youtube videos about mouth diseases and how to clean your teeth correctly. A lot of kids feel empowered by just knowing things.
Ask your kids if they have anything they would like to ask their dentist about. Maybe they’d like to know why teeth should be pulled out, or how a tooth filling is made. Let your kids build a relationship with their dentist and get to know him or her. This could really benefit a small child in an intimidating environment. Help them feel comfortable and like they can trust their dentist. It will definitely help in the long-run.