7 Ways to Help Your Child Love Going to the Dentist
We love to make going to the dentist fun, enjoyable, and comfortable
Little ones can have big emotions! Is your child going to the dentist soon? If so, they might be a little unsure about what to expect.
Whether it’s their very first visit or they’ve been coming to our office for years, it’s natural to express a little apprehension and anxiety. We get it, and our team wants to help you ease their worries and make the experience a fun one!
Today, we’re sharing 7 easy ways you can bond with your child, explain what will happen, and encourage them to LOVE visiting the dentist!
1. Show a positive attitude.
It’s no secret that our mini-mes love to mimic the actions and expressions they see us use. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the emotions we project! Either way, it offers an excellent opportunity to model the behavior we want our kids to show.
As you prepare for an upcoming appointment at our pediatric dental office, remember to show positivity and a sense of excitement. Let them watch as you happily brush and floss your teeth twice a day, and share with them why you enjoy taking care of your own oral hygiene. If you have a dentist appointment yourself, talk it up and show your children that you’re looking forward to it!
It might not happen overnight, but they’ll soon learn to emulate this same attitude when it’s their turn to get their teeth cleaned!
2. Read books together.
Sometimes, children’s books can relay key messages and themes better than we can. This is often the case with books about visiting the dentist!
You can find plenty of short tales about tiny creatures and children who have faced their fears and visited the dentist, only to find that there was nothing to be worried about and the experience was a great one! Filled to the brim with beautiful imagery, kid-friendly language, and lessons that are easy to understand, these books can help storytime pull double duty. To get started, check out this list of books from Scholastic!
3. Bring a beloved toy.
Stuffed animals or “loveys” can bring a ton of comfort and reassurance to your child. They’re familiar, soft, and remind them of home. For these reasons, we encourage our pint-sized patients to bring them in for their visit!
They can even show us their favorite toy race cars, dolls, or anything else that puts them more at ease. Our office is completely child-focused and we’re dedicated to creating an environment they feel 100% comfortable in.
4. Talk it out.
Sometimes, a simple conversation is all it takes to help your child feel more comfortable about something that seems unfamiliar and nerve-wracking.
If you have a child going to the dentist, try to find a time at home when you can talk to one another one-on-one. Gently explain what they can expect, and answer any questions they might have.
If you’d rather let the experts take the reins, this cute video by SciShow Kids explains the entire process in simple language, using cartoons and animations that kids will love!
5. Meet the team.
If this is your child’s first visit, be sure to introduce them to the dentist and office staff with enthusiasm. Our interactive New Patient Experience is designed just for this purpose. It gives your family a chance to tour our facility, meet our team members, and ask any questions you might have.
If you’re not local to the Omaha or North Platte regions, you can simply Google “pediatric dentist near me” to find the office closest to you! Make sure there’s a tour option available for new patients.
When you visit our office, we’ll walk around with you and your child and show you everything there is to see! They can even see other little patients just like themselves getting their teeth cleaned. This is a great way to reduce anxieties and make the space feel more familiar.
6. Make dentist day special.
Children love something to look forward to, especially when it’s fun and on their level! To help ramp up excitement around their upcoming visit, why not plan something special to do either before or after the appointment?
For instance, a trip to the playground could be in order before their visit begins. This can help them release any wiggles and relax before they sit in the dentist’s chair. Or, you might promise a treat afterward!
These extrinsic rewards can work when they’re young, but eventually, the motivation will become more intrinsic in nature. As your child sees how bright and healthy their smile is after a visit to the dentist, they’ll get excited about the visit without any extras.
7. Schedule the visit strategically.
Does your child have an especially busy day on Wednesdays? Maybe they have extracurriculars at school or a sports team practice. Or, are Mondays and Fridays their busiest days?
You know your child’s schedule better than anyone else, and it’s smart to take it into account when scheduling their dentist appointment. If they’re already stressed or tired, a visit to our office could exacerbate these emotions. Consider when they’ll be their most rested and relaxed, and we’re more than happy to find a time that works best for you!
Schedule your visit today!
At Pediatric Dental Specialists, we know the importance of starting dental habits early. Regular visits to the dentist’s office, coupled with a solid at-home oral hygiene routine, can keep your little one’s smile looking great for life!
We understand that going to the dentist can be a little unnerving for our tiny patients, and we’re here to help make every experience a fun, enjoyable, and comfortable one.
If it’s time to schedule your child’s first visit, we’d love to show you around and introduce you to our staff and facility! Feel free to contact our team today to make an appointment.