Dentistry for kids is essential for keeping their teeth healthy and help promote their oral hygiene habits. However, many parents don’t take their children to the dentist early.
If you’re having a hard time getting your kid excited for the trip to the dentist, here’s a simple guide.
Read on to learn some ways you can make dentistry for kids fun and easier.
1. Start Early
When it comes to dentistry for kids, it’s better to visit the dentist at an early age. Like tongue and lip ties, you have to start getting routine checkups when the first tooth appears. If your child grows up with memories of dental checkups, he/she will feel that it’s a normal part of life.
Going early to the dentist’s office can give the dentist a chance to teach you how to brush your kid’s teeth. It also them an opportunity to tell you how to make teeth-friendly snacks and meals. Baby teeth can last as much as 13 years, so you need to help your kid develop good oral habits.
2. Make the Visit Fun and Educational
Don’t wait for your child complains about a toothache to make an appointment. Presently, pediatric dentistry will go to the lengths of making patients feel comfortable. However, you need to help your kid feel excited about going to the dentist by talking in a positive tone.
Let your kids know that the dentists are not there to lecture them but help them make better decisions for their teeth. Grab the opportunity to tell your little ones some fun and interesting facts about teeth. You can also ask your dentist if you can do a quick tour around the office to help them get used to the tools and room.
3. Give Positive Reinforcement
You don’t have to be super buttery with your words, but you have to keep an upbeat attitude. This can be a bit tricky since many parents talk about dentists in a specific way using negative words like needle shots. You shouldn’t lie to your kids, but you can color their experience.
You can help them feel more relaxed by bringing along a comfort item, such as their favorite teddy. For older children, you can bring portable games or picture books to help them get distracted. Avoid promising your kids a special reward when they finish with the dentist.
Giving a reward may reinforce their idea that the trip to the dentist is something negative. Don’t give your kids sugary treats either since it sends the wrong message. Instead, you can give your kids an award after the visit to create a positive bond with the dentist.
4. Play Pretend Dentist
Imagery and pretend play is a great way to prepare your child for the dentist since it can paint the experience. The dentist may be a strange place for kids because of the noises and smells. If you play pretend dentist, it can help your kid get acquainted with the process.
It may help your kids get more comfortable with having someone else touch and look at their teeth. While you play, be sure to explain why it’s essential for people to check their teeth. You can also define the general dentistry for kids and their procedures.
5. Give Your Kids Some Control
Allowing your children to have some sort of control can work wonders when they feel anxious. Parents and dentists often forget how terrifying it can be for a child on the whole dental processes. The number of orders such as saying “Aaahh” or “Sit Still” can be a bit daunting to kids.
You can help reduce that stress by giving your child some kind of control in simple ways. Let them lead the way to the appointment room or encourage them to shake hands with the dentist. You can also let them have a bit of control before going to the dentist, like choosing clothes and shoes.
Most dentists will let your child choose the flavor of toothpaste and what music or show they want to play. Avoid stepping in and making decisions for your child. Let them pick no matter how long they take.
6. Emphasize the Importance of Healthy Teeth
This is one of the most important aspects when it comes to dentistry for kids. Teach your kids that going to the dentist is a necessity and not a choice. Explain that keeping cavities can destroy their beautiful smile in a few years.
You should help your children with their oral health care. Teach your kids to do daily brushing and flossing to keep all the bacteria in their teeth under control. Without proper oral care, bacterias can lead to infections like gum disease and gum disease.
Let them know that healthy teeth can prevent diseases, pain, and sickness. Emphasize that healthy, strong teeth help them chew the delicious and healthy food they eat today. Make sure to talk to the dentist about limits with unhealthy foods like sweets.
7. Create a Safety Signal
The process can go much smoother when you eliminate things that can cause too much stress, panic, and fear. The easiest way to do that is to stay in the room and communicate with your kid. As mentioned earlier, you have to be careful when saying words like “hurt” or “pain.”
You can help lessen the fear by coming up with a safety signal like a hand gesture. Assure your kids that you’ll ask the dentist to stop for a moment when they give the signal. Give them a few minutes to calm down by letting them hold your hand or squeeze their toy. Ensure that you also stay calm and relaxed during the whole process since your child can pick up on your anxiety.
Make Dentistry for Kids More Relaxing Today
With these strategies, you can make dentistry for kids more fun. Ensure that you are there with them throughout the whole dental process to lessen stress.
Are you looking to book an appointment? Don’t be afraid to give us a call to set up an appointment today.