If your children have trouble going to the dentist, you don’t have to accept that it will be a fight every time they have an appointment.
Any parent will tell you that all kids are different. This idea is especially prevalent in the case of pediatric dentistry. While some children will be happy to see the dentist, others will feel stress and other negative emotions before and during their appointments. Below, we will discuss how to curb this effect and make dentist visits fun for your children.
Take Care of Their Teeth
One of the best things you can do for your children is make their dental visit a smooth one. You can do that by taking care of their teeth. This practice will do two things. First, it will make the appointment take less time and be less intensive. They won’t have extended scraping and bleeding gums, which will go a long way in keeping them happy. Second, they will get a favorable report from the dentist, which will make them feel like they achieved something… And they did!
Purchase a Children’s Book
Another method parents often use is purchasing a children’s book to help with dental stress. Doing so gives your children an idea of what the dentist will be like with the aid of pictures and digestible information. A typical story in these books is a child being scared of the dentist, overcoming fear, and ending up having fun. Showing your children this series of events allows them to put themselves in that character’s shoes and believe that they can conquer their fears.
Avoid Scary Words
Something that all people do, and children especially, is react differently to two words that have nearly the same meaning. The reason for this is that connotation is a powerful force. While you’ll want to describe the dental visit honestly, you should also pay attention to word choice. Try using “discomfort” over “pain,” and other similar replacements. The primary hurdle that children must get over is fear, so lessening it through word choice is well worth it.
Let Them Bring a Calming Toy
Many children have a particular toy or game that calms them down in stressful situations. This trend is especially prevalent among the very young. If this is the case with your children, let them bring that stuffed animal, toy, or handheld gaming system to the dentist. Doing so will allow them to ease their anxiety and make the visit go smoothly.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Your time before and during the dentist is only half the battle. What comes after matters too because you want them to enjoy the dentist in the future. A way to make that happen is to use positive reinforcement. First, use your words to tell them how brave they were while in the dental chair. Next, consider taking them to a place that they love, like the movies.
If your children have trouble going to the dentist, you don’t have to accept that it will be a fight every time they have an appointment. Instead, you can make some of the basic behavioral tweaks on this list, which will make them much more receptive. Doing so will achieve a worthy goal: Making both your and your children’s lives easier.