How To Turn Your Child’s Dentist From A Villain To A Hero! | Lone Star Pediatric Dental & Braces
Kids can be quick to make their mind up that something is too scary for them. While there is no perfect answer to making a first visit to the dentist stress-free, here are some tips and tricks to try to help your kids smile more and worry less!
Talk to your kids in vocab they understand!
Being clueless about what exactly is happening to you can leave anybody feeling pretty unsettled and even frustrated at times. It’s important to remember that your kids can feel the exact same way when they hear words like “fluoride,” “x-rays” or “cavities.” When teaching your kids about what a dentist does, try to keep in mind how much your child comprehends, and use positive vocab that will leave them fully in control of what they know!
For example, when you are telling your kids that you are going to the dentist for the first time, instead of saying they are going to “do x-rays” or “put on fluoride” try saying, “The dentist is going to “take some pictures of your teeth” or “they are going to put yummy vitamins on your teeth so they stay pretty!” You know your kids best, so use your super-mom intuition ☺
And on that note…avoid words that could sound scary or negative to your kids.
Going off of that first idea, try to go into your child’s first visit without using language that might sound like a punishment to them! The same way that you would not tell your child that a doctor is “going to give them a shot,” try to avoid using words like “pull out” or “get rid of.” While you may know that the dentist taking the gunk out is good for them, kids who are apprehensive about their first visit definitely don’t want to hear that they might be losing something that is a part of them!
Don’t use the dentist as a punishment for bad dental hygiene.
Never use the dentist as a consequence; use it as a reward! Your child’s dentists and hygienists work hard to make sure that kids have fun when they come in to get their teeth cleaned and if your little one isn’t the best at brushing or flossing, then that’s a goal to work towards—not a reason to scold them!
Look for ways to make brushing teeth a highlight of your child’s day!
Every household has a different system that works for them in terms of keeping your child on track with a daily routine. However you choose to motivate your kids to practice good habits around the house, incorporate their dental health into that! You might even think about incorporating a metaphor in to their twice a day brushing.
For example, compare dental hygiene to a journey or adventure! Some of the stops along the way? Brushing, rinsing, flossing—and be their adventure guide to show them to the end of their adventure!
Last but not least, look for a dentist that aims to make your child feel as safe and comfortable as possible!
When looking for where to take your kiddos for their first dental visit, consider looking into places that specialize in pediatric dentistry. One place that really keeps the children’s fun first is Lone Star Pediatric Dental & Braces. With 10 different offices, and a number of dentists trained specifically to work with kiddos, your little one’s fear of the dentist could be blown away! LSPD uses kid-friendly incentives like balloons, toy-machines, games and more to make their visit feel just as fun as any other place they go! When you choose a place like LSPD, their team will work hard to hold your child’s hand (and yours!) so that the next time you have a dentist appointment, your kids will be eager to go.
There is no fool-proof way to completely ease your child’s apprehension. But with tips and tricks like these, you can be more prepared and confident for your child’s first dentist appointment and feel equipped to handle their dental hygiene for years to come!
By: Taryn Bailey