How to Make a Trip to the Dentist a Fun Experience for Young Kids
Kids need to go to the dentist a couple of times every year, and there’s simply no avoiding that. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your children are practicing proper oral hygiene and to make sure that they’re visiting the dentist regularly enough to ensure that their teeth stay clean, healthy, and cavity-free. However, as a parent, you also know that this is absolutely not the easiest thing in the world. Not all of our children have the capacity to understand the far-reaching benefits that all these trips to the dentist will have in the future, nor do they exactly readily grasp the fact that going to the dentist is a less painful and agonizing than the alternative. So going to the dentist with our little ones can wind up being an extra taxing situation. Luckily for you, there are actually a few ways that you can make the dentist something a little more positive, and we’re going to talk about some of the best strategies for doing that right now. With the right ideas in mind, you can raise your kids to not necessarily think of the dentist as nothing but a bringer of pain and a haver of sharp metal objects.
Start your kids off with the dentist as early as you can, for one thing. A lot of us think that it would make more sense to wait as long as you can before you have to make that first trip, but if you can get a couple of easier trips to the dentist in when they’re very young, they’ll be much more accustomed to the situation and therefore less prone to getting agitated when they know it’s approaching again. This is even more effective if you’ve got a great dentist with a fantastic bedside manner — this goes an incredibly long way towards assuaging a kid’s anxiety about getting those teeth cleaned or having those cavities filled.
Another good strategy is actually to avoid offering some incentive to go along with your trips to the dentist. You might think that a reward is a great way to get your kids not thinking about the trip ahead and instead fixated on the sweet morsel of whatever kind of special thing you have planned for afterward. Kids are smarter than this, though. They might not be smart enough to realize that going to the dentist isn’t really all that bad, but they’re smart enough to realize that if you’re offering them an incentive for sitting through something, it’s probably not going to be all that great to sit through. Telling them, they can have a reward for surviving the next trip to the dentist communicates exactly the wrong thing. To a similar end, it’s smart to avoid using what you might think of as “trigger” words. Kids don’t really like hearing things like “hurt” or “shot” or “pain” — and even words like “extraction” just don’t sound very friendly. Try to make sure you monitor the way you talk about the dentist when you’re around the kids. Whether you’re looking for a dentist in Anchorage AK or an orthodontist in Baton Rouge, these strategies will help you have an easier time getting your kids to sit through their next checkup.