5 Tips to Help Your Child Enjoy the Dentist
Taking the kids to the dentist is necessary as it keeps their teeth healthy and promotes excellent oral hygiene habits. But from a child’s viewpoint, a trip to the dentist might be scary no matter how experienced and gentle the dentists are like the ones at Fort Wayne Dentist – lying on a chair they’ve never seen before, in an unfamiliar room filled with unfamiliar objects.
Did you know, as your child grows and their baby teeth fall out, they may make at least 10 trips to the dentist before starting kindergarten? To help ease these future visits, follow these easy steps to make them feel comfortable and relaxed!
- Start Young
The earlier the child visits the dentist, the better. This will provide your child with a comfortable “dental home” where all their needs – preventative or emergency visit – will be taken care of. Northern Dental Care offers the Little Smiles Program, a fun and free day at the dentist where children can learn the benefits of brushing and flossing and go at their own pace during the visit. The office is decorated and kid friendly and there’s always a “theme” to go with it – whether it be Disney, Dinosaurs, or Superhero themed!
- Keep it Simple
When preparing your child for their first visit, be sure to keep the conversation simple and try not to include many details. Doing so will raise more questions and spark the imagination which may cause unnecessary anxiety. Keep a positive attitude when discussing an upcoming visit.
- Be Mindful of Your Words
Avoid words such as needle, hurt, or pain with children. Our staff is specially trained and will introduce a child friendly vocabulary to help get them through difficult situations. A fun sentence we encourage is for parents to tell their children the dentist will be “looking for sugar bugs” so he can clean them off their teeth. Another great sentence is to tell their child that we are going to check their smile and count their teeth – that’s it, nothing else. Also be sure to use positive phrases such as “clean, strong, healthy teeth” to make the visit fun instead of scary.
- Prepare for Some Fussing
Remember, it’s completely normal and age-appropriate for young children to become fussy when put in a situation they aren’t used to. It’s important to stay calm and positive and remember the dentist and staff are used to working with many children.
- Emphasize the Important of Great Oral Hygiene
Raising a child is all about teaching life lessons and instilling positive habits. It’s a great time to teach your child that visiting the dentist is a necessity, not a choice, and that the dentist and staff will take great care of their teeth, which helps them eat and smile! You can also explain the importance of keeping cavities at bay.