Most kids are not big fans of going to the dental office, so if yours are no exception we have some tips to help them love the dentist! The best part about them is how little effort they represent: just downloading an app or bringing a toy could make a significant difference in your kid’s experience with the dentist.
1. Fighting their fear of the unknown
Have you ever been nervous about your first day at a new job? Or got that feeling in your tummy on the line to a rollercoaster? That is, among other things, is fearing the unknown – and your child has it too. The solution is to explain with easy-to-understand words, the process of a standard check-up.
“First, we will sit and wait for the dentist’s assistant to tell us to go inside” could be an excellent way to start. Followed by “once in, you will sit on a special chair with a lamp so the dentist can get a good look at your mouth.” And so on, until you feel that your baby is ready for the big day.
2. Dentist games and apps
For most kids, just explaining with words how things work may not ensure that they comprehend. A much visual and interactive way is with games! You can download them directly into your phone or tablet and have them play to get entertained and familiarized with many dental procedures.
For android users, the game “Doctor Teeth” is perfect for kids to learn the purpose of each dental tool, and Apple users can download “Dentist Office” for a similar experience. Just a couple of times playing could get them looking forward to their next visit to the dentist.
3. Take toys and board games
For some people, the worst part about going to the dentist is having to sit and wait thinking about how painful is the procedure going to be or other horrible thought caused by anxiety. That’s why most dental offices have a TV and some magazines in their waiting rooms.
For kids, old magazines won’t do the trick – however, board games will take their mind off the upcoming event. UNO is a great option because it takes almost no space in your bag, and you won’t make a mess in your dentist’s waiting room. On the other hand, if your kids aren’t old enough to play that kind of games, a toy will be enough to let their imagination take them somewhere else.
4. Reward your kids for their bravery
Nothing makes a kid love the dentist more than having it associated with a good feeling. Often, the way to achieve that is by giving out rewards after each visit – these rewards could be toys, visits to places they like, or just preparing their favorite meal.
One of those places can be the beautiful beach in Cancun, Mexico. If you consider taking a dental vacation for getting crowns or implants, bring your children along and kill two birds with one stone by getting them checked up too.
Remember that as a parent, you set the tone for their dental visits, so be careful about how you act on those delicate days and remember that it is during childhood that life-long habits are developed. Hence the importance of helping your child have good oral hygiene.