Going to the dentist with young kids can be challenging. A large percentage of the aged population are afraid of seeing the dentist. Children can be even worse. For this reason, you need to have a strategy to make sure the trip goes smoothly. Below you’ll find a few helpful tips for parents planning a trip to the dentist.
Explain Why You’re Going to the Dentist
Some parents think the best strategy is to trick your children into visiting the dentist. They start driving without telling their kids where they’re going. But the problem with this is that the potential for tantrums increase as soon as you arrive. Instead, if you explain why you’re going to see the dentist, you’re conditioning your children to understand the importance of check-up. It might be difficult the first few times, but it becomes easier as they get older. And you’re building valuable life skills too.
Make Sure They Understand There’s Nothing to Be Scared of
If adults have an irrational fear of the dentist, it’s easy to understand why kids can be. But it’s your responsibility to explain that they have nothing to worry about. If you make their experiences with the dentist positive when they’re young, they’ll never develop fears in later life.
Take the Time to Let Your Children Talk to the Staff at the Clinic
Going into an unfamiliar environment with different sights and smells can get overwhelming for young children. When you arrive at the clinic, encourage your kids to speak to the receptionist. Even if it’s just to say hello. The same with the dentist. This puts your kids at ease and makes it more likely they’ll feel comfortable with the procedure.
Bring Entertainment For the Waiting Room
Not all appointments happen on time. Especially if yours is later in the day (such as after school). When one overruns, there’s a backlog of delays for the rest of the day. This means you may face a long wait. Combat this by bringing your kids favorite toy, book or game. An entertained child is a quiet and better-behaved child.
Give Them a Reward
If you want to encourage positive future behavior for visits to the dentist, you need to do the right conditioning. After the dentist, you can give your children some kind of reward. Perhaps sugary treats aren’t the best option. But you can promise to take them somewhere they like. Or buy them a new toy. Explain that they’ll only get the reward if they behave. And the size needs to be proportional to the magnitude of the dental visit. A ten-minute check-up doesn’t warrant the same reward as having their wisdom teeth removed.
Having a Smooth Check-Up
The most strategic way to ensure your children’s check-up goes smoothly is to explain why they need to visit and that there’s nothing to be scared of. Bring something to keep your kids entertained in the waiting room, let them speak to the dentist themselves and give them a reward. Follow these tips and you can feel confident your kid’s trip to the dentist will go without any problems.