Did you know that 48% of Americans with dental insurance have neglected to schedule appointments?
The first visit to the dentist can be a scary experience for children, and a nervous parent can make things worse. That first brush with cavities and drills can leave a lasting impression.
A dentist visit is part medical, part social, and getting the right mix is a delicate procedure. Good dental practice understands that visiting the dentist is a stressful event, and some interventions on their part will mean your child has a better experience.
Here are some tips to make your child’s next dental visit fun and non-threatening.
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Make a Game Out of It
It’s no secret that many kids are terrified of going to the dentist. However, there are ways to help your kid enjoy their dentist visit.
Making a game from your child’s dentist visit can help them enjoy the experience more. You can turn to brush your teeth into a race, see who can spit the furthest, or make a game of picking the right toothbrush.
You can also turn flossing into a game by visiting who can floss the most teeth in a minute.
For example, you can tell them they must find the dentist’s “secret spot.” This will help take their minds off the procedure and make it more fun. You can also turn to brush their baby teeth into a game.
For example, you can have a competition to see who can brush their teeth the longest. This will help them to have fun while also getting their teeth clean. If you consider pediatric dentistry, you need first to know about sedation dentistry.
Arm Them With Knowledge
Before your child’s dentist visit, arm them with knowledge about what to expect. Show them pictures of the dentist’s office, the dental chair, and the dental instruments.
If your child is still nervous, consider bringing them to the dentist’s office for a tour before their appointment. During the meeting, let your child know that you are there for them and that they can ask the dentist any questions.
Tell them that the dentist may use a drill to clean their teeth, but it won’t hurt. Helping your child be knowledgeable and prepared for their dentist visit can help them enjoy their experience and develop positive associations with the dentist.
Please encourage your child to cooperate with the dentist and praise them for being brave. After the appointment, reward your child with a sticker or a trip to the park.
Find the Right Dentist
The best way to ensure your child enjoys their dentist visit is to find the right dentist. Look for a dentist who is experienced in treating children and ensure they are comfortable with the dentist.
Let them know that the dentist is there to help them and that they will be able to ask the dentist any questions they may have.
Build a Good Foundation
It’s essential to start your child off on the right foot with dental care. You can help them by taking them to the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Show them how important it is to take care of their teeth.
Explain that the dentist is there to help keep their teeth healthy. Let them know it’s okay to be a little scared, but the dentist will take good care of them. Please let them understand that going to the dentist is essential to care for their teeth.
Be There for Support
Many parents find that their child’s dentist visit is a source of anxiety. You can do a few things to help your child enjoy their dentist visit.
First, be there for support. Your child will feel more comfortable if you are there with them. Next, explain what the dentist will be doing. This will help your child understand what to expect.
Third, use positive reinforcement. Let your child know you are proud of them for attending the dentist. This will help them to see the dentist as a positive experience.
Give Positive Reinforcement
This can be in the form of verbal praise, a smile, or a hug. After their visit, you can also give them a sticker or a small toy. This will help them to associate the dentist with something positive.
Another way to help your child enjoy their dentist visit is to let them choose their toothbrush and toothpaste. This will help them feel more in control and less scared. Finally, be sure to explain everything the dentist will do before they do it.
Create a Safety Signal
When you take your child to the dentist, be sure to let them know that they can use a unique signal to tell the dentist if they feel uncomfortable or need a break. This will help your child feel more in control of the situation and less anxious.
Be sure to explain the signal to the dentist and the dental staff before the appointment, so everyone is on the same page.
Let Them Enjoy Their Dentist Visit
It’s essential to help your child feel comfortable with their dentist and dental visits. You can do this by explaining what will happen during the dentist visit, allowing them to feel relaxed, and by being positive yourself.
With a bit of preparation, you can help your child have a positive experience at the dentist.
For more helpful tips, check out the rest of our blog.