How to Make Dental Appointments Fun for Kids
The vast majority of people who have a fear of the dentist’s chair had traumatic experiences at the dentist when they were young, and this can stick with a person throughout their life.
Therefore, it is vital that you do what you can to make dental appointments something to look forward to, which will ensure that your child actually enjoys the experience.
Here are some tips to help you bring some fun into the equation when it is time to visit the dentist.
Start at a Young Age
The earlier you introduce your child to the family dentist, the better.
Taking your child with you as early as one year old will introduce them to the dentist and the practice, and with a child-friendly environment, there are lots of things to capture their interest, with a creative corner where they can draw some pictures and play with soft toys.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
Children pick up on emotions very quickly, so make sure you are always upbeat when talking about the dentist, and avoid using words like “drill” and “pain”, which might cause some concern.
It is unlikely that a very young child would have any questions about the dentist, but if they do, make sure you keep things upbeat.
This is a great way to familiarize your child with an opening wide ready for a dental examination, and with a small mirror, you can be the dentist and carry out a fake oral examination, and use the mirror in a fun way by showing your child how to make funny faces.
If you use an emergency dentist that families trust, check that they are child-friendly and take your child along one day when you are having a check-up, even though they will not receive treatment, familiarizing the child with the clinic will help to prepare them for their first dental appointment.
The more familiar the child is, the less traumatic the experience will be, and playing games is a great way to diffuse anxiety.
You could take your child to see a movie or spend an hour in their favorite park, providing, of course, the dental visit goes smoothly, and with something to look forward to, the child is less likely to be anxious.
Let the Dentist Deal with Issues
Of course, you will want to be present when your child receives treatment, but resist the temptation to scold your child if they are resisting in any way.
The dentist is used to working with children and they will have their own techniques to calm young patients, and by standing back, you can let the dentist work his magic.
Child-friendly dentists have a wealth of experience in making children feel relaxed when having treatment, and you should only intervene if things get out of hand.
You know your child better than anyone, and by introducing fun activities, dental appointments will be something to look forward to, rather than fear.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on beaversdentistry.com