Children are not always fond of ending up in the dentist’s chair. In fact, they may not appreciate it, but it is super important for you to take your children to the dentist for regular visits. Like anyone else, it’s a big help in keeping their teeth healthy and strong alongside teaching them appropriate oral hygiene practices.
However, it may not be easy to get your child excited about his or her trip for their regular cleaning. Some kids might even be afraid of the dentist, making the experience even worse when they’re forced to go. So, here are some simple ways to calm any fears so your son or daughter can get the dental checkups young children need.
Explain the Importance of Oral Health
It is crucial that you tell your children that going to their dentist, possibly someone like Rabel Family Dentistry, is a necessary part of life if they want to remain healthy. Without regular checkups, they can suffer from cavities and gum diseases that can destroy their lovely smiles permanently. You might equate the importance of visiting the dentist with the importance of visiting the doctor: both are looking out for their health and well-being, meaning yearly checkups are important for everyone.
Add Some Educational Value
The dentist can teach your child how to properly brush their teeth, as well as educate them on the proper meals and snacks to eat to keep their teeth healthy. You and your child can also take the opportunity to learn more about teeth, gums, and better oral health habits in general. If you’re child loves to learn, this is a great way to help them get over their fear of the dentist as they’re instead encouraged to learn all they can about their teeth and why proper care is so important.
Play “Dentist” Ahead of Time
You can easily play pretend dentist with your kids, mimicking what will happen at their appointment for real so they have an idea of what to expect when they go for real. Have them open wide and examine their teeth in a way that is similar to what the dentist will do during the visit. Getting a preview of a new process should make them feel a bit more comfortable ahead of time. Also, don’t be afraid to let your child switch roles with you, as the more they’re encouraged to show interest, the longer they have time to get their heads around the idea visiting the dentist isn’t a bad thing.
Think of a Safety Signal
If the fear that your children feel is intense, you should collaborate on a hand gesture or another type of sign they can use to show you and the dentist that they are feeling pain, or that they are simply afraid. Let your children know that the dentist will take a momentary break as soon as the signal is flashed. You might even speak to the dentist or assistants ahead of time to let them know your child is struggling. Together, you can all work together to make the visit as safe and calm as possible for your child.
Create Positive Reinforcements
Don’t deceive your son or daughter by telling him or her that this will be a fun experience, but ease him or her into the situation in the best ways possible. Hold his or her hand, or bring along a beloved blanket, doll, or stuffed animal. You can also have older kids bring along books or portable games to lessen their tension. Listen to your child, and make sure they know they’re safe.
In conclusion, these are a few methods that you can use to make dental appointments more relaxing, and possibly even fun, for children. By following these tips, you and your child should both feel more at ease about checkups for years to come.