Trips to the dentist can be scary for adults, so kids should not be the exception to this experience. In the same sense, daily oral care has the same issue. Taking care of teeth can be an annoying task and – for a lot of children – another chore that they don’t want to do.
When dental anxiety is present in kids it can potentially become a lifelong avoidance of oral care. So how do you make oral care and trips to the dentist fun?
Making It Fun
It is important to transform the task of taking care of your child’s teeth from a chore to an enjoyable activity. Give them something to look forward to instead of dreading. Here are some tips on how to pump some fun into their routine.
Daily Oral Care
Start as early as possible and be a good role model. When you brush your teeth, floss, and or mouthwash, let them watch and explain to them what you are doing. When they begin to do their own routine, create a song or play a special game to help the time pass by.
Trips To The Dentist
Before your child’s dentist appointment, let your child know when the appointment is and take the time to talk them through what will happen while they are there. Demonstrate what will happen during their home dental routine and let them play dentist and walk you through what will happen while visiting. Here are some things you can do before and during the dentist appointment to make things fun or help make your child comfortable.
- Dress up. Let them choose their outfit for the big day or ask their dentist if they could wear a costume. Don’t worry if they look silly wearing a Halloween costume. Their confidence and anticipation for the appointment are what matters.
- Get to know the dentist. Take a tour of the dental office beforehand and meet their dentist. If possible, book an appointment as a family and let your child watch how brave you or their siblings are during their visit.
- Give them choices. Allow them to have control while they are at the dentist. Sometimes your dentist will ask what flavor toothpaste they want or what to watch on tv. Let your child have some control over what happens, even if it takes them a while to decide.
- Make the trip to the dental office fun. On the way to the appointment play a game or listen to music and dance to lighten the mood and reduce anxiety.
The goal is to make visits to the dentist and dental routines fun and eliminate the fear. You can do this by avoiding negative language when discussing the dentist or trigger words, such as drilling and injections. Try to avoid bribing your child when it comes to getting them to the dentist. When bribery is used, then it is assumed that the action is not fun or they are being forced. In addition, don’t make empty promises or assure them that a dentist trip won’t be scary or hurt. It is important that they know what to expect and that you are there for them throughout the experience.
Come By Today
Are you ready to book your child’s first appointment? We are ready to meet them!
During your child’s first appointment, we will simply check for cavities, review alignment development, and apply fluoride or sealants if necessary. Our team of certified, caring, and compassionate professionals is here to help. Contact us today with any questions you may have.