Your child’s dental health is important, so it makes sense you want to ensure that they stay healthy.
If you have kids, there’s a good chance you’ve taken them to a dental visit before. And you’ll also know just how much of an ordeal it can be.
But regardless of whether you’ve taken your child to a dental checkup, or you plan to shortly, it’s always helpful to learn new ways to make the experience more pleasant. We all know that making your child feel comfortable at the dentist isn’t always easy. That’s why we’re here to help.
In order to help you get started and provide some helpful tips along the way, we’ve compiled some great advice to help prepare your child for their next dental visit. So keep reading to discover seven excellent tips to make that next dental checkup a little less stressful.
1. Schedule a Dental Visit At an Early Age
First, we should stress the importance of making sure your child has the proper dental care to sustain their oral health at a young age.
When your kids are very young, you may find that you don’t have to schedule an appointment with the dentist. But as they grow older, it’s important to start scheduling regular dental appointments.
Even for young children, when they have cavities or issues like bad breath, you shouldn’t wait to have these conditions treated. You don’t want to risk causing more damage to your child’s teeth as well as their overall oral health. The earlier you start, the less likely your child will have issues with cavities in the future.
2.Talk to Your Child About Visiting the Dentist
Now, before going to your child’s first dental visit, make sure you have one or two conversations with them.
The first thing you should do is explain what will happen on the day of their visit. Try to explain why your child needs to go to the pediatric dentist, and make sure they understand why it’s important for their teeth to be healthy.
By talking to your child about their visit, you can help them understand why a dental checkup is necessary. If your child has any questions, try to answer them as best you can. Simply having these conversations will make your child feel more comfortable at the dentist, and it’ll also make them less likely to have any fears. That’s why it’s important to make sure your child knows precisely what to expect before the visit.
3. Try to Create a Calming Environment Before the Appointment
Another way you can help your child feel more comfortable is by creating a calming atmosphere.
One way to do this is to bring along your child’s favorite books, or download some of their favorite programs to your phone and let them watch them while waiting for the dentist.
The point is to help to create a more relaxed atmosphere for your child, which can make them feel less anxious. It takes their mind off the upcoming appointment, and distracts them from any fears or anxieties that they’ll probably have.
4. Send a Dental Buddy Along
Children usually fare better in nerve-racking circumstances when they have something tangible to help them calm down.
Bringing a beloved toy, cuddly animal, or blanket to the dentist can make the experience much less daunting. It can also be something of a conversation starter, which the dental staff can use to help distract or calm your child.
After all, it’s much simpler for your kid to go to the dentist when there are other topics to discuss besides the dental exam. It’s always best to bring something your child plays with all the time, so try to bring a beloved item that your child plays with daily.
5. Go Through a Trial Run
To make your kids more comfortable, and to help show them what to expect, you can always orchestrate a practice run or two.
The idea here is to help prepare your child for the dental visit, so they have an idea of what to expect. You can even simulate a dental exam, and perhaps use a toothbrush to clean their teeth so they’re not startled by the idea of someone examining their mouth.
Make a game of it, and that way they’ll realize that the real dental exam will not be much different, nor anything to be afraid of. Plus, it’s a great way to reinforce good habits of oral health and oral care.
6. Use Words of Encouragement
If your child is feeling nervous, try to encourage them with reassuring words and some good old-fashioned positive reinforcement.
Children love to hear how brave and fearless they are. Feed their egos by telling them how daring they were to appear at the dental checkup. Help them to understand that everyone feels anxious at the dentist’s office, and that their courage and bravery was exceptional.
Whether your kid did well or wound up having a total breakdown during the dental exam, don’t forget to review what happened during the visit, and try to spin it in a positive light.
7. Keep a Positive Attitude
Even if you have your own anxieties and fears about dental visits, you need to buck up and show some courage for your child.
After all, it makes sense that research indicates that parents can easily convey their unease to their children. So do your best not to reveal your fears to your kids.
Since it’s their first dental appointment, maintain a positive attitude and paint the upcoming visit in the best light. Explain to your children how vital it is to go to one since they are responsible for ensuring their dental health.
Keep These Tips in Mind For Your Child’s Next Dental Visit
These tips can go a long way to make your child’s next dental visit a far less stressful experience.
When you head to your next dental visit, keep in mind what you’ve learned here. That way, you can make sure to prepare your child for the visit and make them feel more comfortable.
At Grow Pediatric Dentistry, we offer a full range of dental services for children of all ages. So don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule your child’s next appointment.