How to help your kids love the dentist
Does any kid really LOVE doing to the dentist? The answer is YES. When my three-year-old needed to get three cavities filled, I was determined to make it a good experience, for the both of us. I discovered seven helpful tips that you have to try the next time you take your kid to the dentist.
#1: Find the right dentist
This one factor will determine 90 percent of your child’s success at the dentist. Not all dentists are created equal. Do some research and read reviews online. With that being said, you don’t have to go to a pediatric dentist to find one that is good with kids. We go to MacKay Dental Care because Dr. MacKay is very patient and personable. Plus every one of his employees from the receptionists to the hygienists are super friendly and helpful.
#2: Don’t freak out
Cavities aren’t the end of the world, so don’t freak out when you hear the dentist say the word “cavity”. Your child is watching for your reaction. If your eyes get big and you say, “THREE CAVITIES!?” your child will automatically associate that word with something bad before they even know what it means. Instead, stay cool and collected and don’t make it a big deal.
#3: Avoid the word “shot”
When it comes to kids–especially toddlers–prepping your child about shots at the dentist may backfire on you. Shots can be painful, but they are meant to help your kid feel LESS pain throughout the entire process. Plus, it makes the dentist look like the bad guy. He is the one helping your kid.
#4: Eliminate distractions
I have a two-year-old who loves to rummage into every drawer while we’re at the dentist. I usually spend so much time watching him, that I am not able to focus on my son who is getting his teeth fixed. Get a babysitter for your kids who don’t have to be there. Then put your phone down and hold your child’s hand. He wants to know you’re there.
#5: Take full advantage of your dentist’s resources
Make sure you find a dentist with TVs on the ceiling that your kid can watch during the appointment. It helps keep their minds off the task at hand. Also, don’t forget to get a free toothbrush, toothpaste and a toy out of the treasure box.
#6: Provide incentives
Sometimes you just need to bribe your kids. I told my son that if he was really good for the entire appointment, he would get a special surprise. Since he wasn’t supposed to eat for a while afterwards, I gave him a little keychain for his backpack and a badge that says, “I went to the dentist today!” It was pretty simple but he was definitely motivated to be good.
Here’s a FREE PRINTABLE – I went to the dentist today badge
#7: Show your kid dentist videos
I remember when I was very little, I was scared to go to the dentist. So, I hid in the car and refused to come in. I think I was just unsure what to expect. That’s why it’s good to show your kid a few videos that explain what a visit to the dentist’s office is like. Here’s a couple to choose from:
What tips do you have to make your child’s visit to the dentist a happy one? Leave you comments below.
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