How to Prepare Your Child for A Dentist Visit.
I try my best to take my kids to the dentist every six months, as dental health is essential to our family. Sometimes we’re a few months behind schedule, and honestly, finding a dentist that we trust was the hardest part of the process, but it’s essential to establish healthy dental habits with kids when they are young. Here are a few tips to prepare your child for a dentist visit:
My older daughter’s very first dentist visit was back when she was 2-years-old, and I am happy that although she sometimes gets a little nervous, she’s quite comfortable with visiting the dentist. Now that we’re a few years into pediatric dental visits, I feel like I have enough experience to share a few tips to help you prepare your kids for their dental appointments. Here are a few ways to prepare your child for a dental visit.
1. Let them know what to expect.
My daughter loves surprises, but I know that a surprise trip to the dentist doesn’t fall in the happy surprises category. So, I make sure to let her know about her upcoming visits and what to expect. I always keep the information as positive as possible, highlighting the benefits. Before her very first visit, I let her know that a dentist is someone who makes sure our teeth are healthy and removes gross plaque. I knew that there was a possibility of discomfort, especially when the dental hygienist cleaned her teeth, but I made sure to focus on just the positive.
2. Prepare dental insurance documents prior to visiting.
The last thing you want to have to sort out with your kid at the dentist —especially if it’s their first visit—is dental insurance. My dentist emailed me all the forms, and I filled out everything, scanned our insurance cards, and sent them before our appointment.
2. Find a dentist that specializes in pediatric dentistry.
The easiest thing to do is to take your kid to your dentist, right? After all, it’s just teeth, but I wanted to make sure that my kids have a dentist who is trained to care for children’s teeth and is very experienced with kids. You can find an excellent pediatric dentist by asking friends, reading reviews, getting recommendations from other parents at your child’s school, or by using the dentist locator on your dental insurance website.
3. Inform your dentist about your child’s personality prior to the appointment.
My two older kids’ first dentist visits were fun and will always be beautiful memories for them because her dentist was prepared and made them feel comfortable. Some kids love to chat and want to learn all about their teeth and the process, and some kids prefer to watch a movie during the visit quietly.
4. Bring along a toy to keep your child distracted.
Just in case your child has nervous jitters or experiences some discomfort, it’s nice to have a small toy on hand that can keep them distracted. This will also come in handy if you have a long wait. One time my daughter’s dentist had to attend an emergency, and our wait was an hour-long, a toy would have come in really handy then.
5. Reward your child.
Once you get through the dentist, make sure to reward your little one for their cooperation. There are so many scary stories and negative conversations about dentists visits that you want to make sure that your kids have an entirely positive approach to their dental health. After all, failing to take care of their teeth can lead to decay, cavities, and, eventually, tooth loss, which isn’t cool. Just don’t reward them with sweets or candy. your child for cooperating at the dentist.
Once you get through the dentist, make sure to give your little one a reward for their cooperation. There are so many scary stories and negative conversations about dentists visits that you want to make sure that your kids have a completely positive approach to their dental health. After all failing to take care of their teeth can lead to decay, cavities, and eventually tooth loss which isn’t cool.
If you’re not a fan of visiting the dentist or you’ve had some painful experiences, make sure never to discuss them in your child’s presence. Keep things positive, make trips regular, and it would be an excellent experience for you and your child.
How do you prepare your kids for a trip to the dentist?