Most parents know how hard it is to get their children excited about going to the dentist. There are a few time-tested tips for helping your kids get over their totally normal fear of the dentist. Here are few tips that many parents found successful.
Visit a fun family dentist just for kids…Like Smilez of Gainesville! 🙂
Even most parents will admit the dentist can be intimidating at times. If the dental office you’re bringing your kids to is just plain, white, and scary-looking, of course they’re going to be scared to go there. But if the dentist office is colorful, inviting and has a fun environment for kids, then your children will more than likely have a positive experience. Be sure to avoid locations that have that “health care clinics for adults’ look and feel; kids dentists should cultivate a warm and welcoming environment from the moment you walk through the doors.
Explain the consequences of taking care of their teeth
We don’t want you to scare your children by showing them nasty pictures of cavities and rotten gums, but be honest with them about the dangers of neglecting their dental hygiene. Make sure they know that no matter how much they hate the dentist, it’s something that will make them healthy and strong. Read a book about going to the dentist, explain what to expect or tell your kids about your own positive experience.
Visit the website
A pediatric dentist should have a fun, inviting website just for kids. It should show pictures of the office, kids smiling (like this one to the right here).
Get them excited to brush their teeth
Try to make the experience fun, almost like a game or easy challenge. After each positive trip to the dentist, promise to take them to their favorite spot, restaurant or purchase a new toy. If they are still terrified of the dentist and don’t think the rewards are worth it, then consider giving them a fun toy to keep them occupied on the drive there.
After the dental visit let your kids pick a cool and colorful toothbrush. They will feel less nervous about taking care of their teeth if their toothbrush features their favorite superhero or cartoon character.
Regardless of your own past experiences or how you feel about the dentist now, make it a positive time for your kids. Avoid talking about pain or discomfort and emphasize how healthy their teeth will be, for example.
In addition to regular brushing, be careful with the products you buy your kids, too. Hard candy and soft drinks can cause serious harm to your children’s teeth. Also, take the time to learn about the ingredients in the food and drinks your kids enjoy. According to a Journal of Pediatric Dentistry study, more than 65% of parents who buy bottled water were unaware of what levels of fluoride they contained.
It’s nearly impossible to get kids excited to see the family dentist, but as long as you’re helping them feel comfortable, then they should be able to handle kids dentists with minimal crying and discomfort.
Call Smilez Pediatric Dentistry today to schedule an office visit for you and your child.