It’s interesting that children don’t like to go to the dentist office. Something about the unfamiliarity, lights, smells and noises all just work together to generally over stimulate and scare a child. Then, when their mouths are forced open to be checked, cleaned, examined and sometimes x-rayed, it really doesn’t serve to make matters any better. However, there are a few things that you can do to prepare your child for a visit to the dentist. You should go ahead and start now and not wait for the next appointment. This is because you really don’t know when something is going to happen and you’ll need to see an emergency dentist. At least this way, you’ll be prepared for all dentists and types of visits.
Talk to them
Talk to your children often about all types of dentists visits from emergency dentists to orthodontists to cosmetic dentists as well as the ones at regular check ups. Tell them what it’s like to be a dentist and explain what they do. Let them know how important a job a dentist has because taking care of your teeth is one of the most crucial things you can do for your health. Knowing that the dentist has an important job to do and can help them will make them feel better about having to see one.
Look up videos and pictures of dentists offices and take the time to show them all of the equipment and where the patients sit and where the dentist sits. Show them where the assistant usually stand and how they help the dentist. Being able to see the dentist office without being there will help kids not to be so afraid of all the machines and wires when they do have to go to the dentist. Even if they have to see an emergency dentist, they’ll be likely to recognize some of the equipment in the room, making things more familiar.
Kids need to know that you are going to be with them the whole time. Especially if this is an emergency dentist visit. Emergency visits usually happen because an accident has occurred. This means the child is probably already shaken up because of the accident. Reassure your child every time that you talk about the dentist that you’ll never leave them alone and you are going to be there every time that they go to the dentist no matter the reason.
Warn them of the negatives side effects of not taking care of your teeth or visiting the dentist. Even showing them pictures of tooth and gum diseases may be enough to help them see that visiting the dentist is really not so bad after all, not if it saves them from those awful diseases in the pictures! Of course, this is only something that you could do if your child is old enough to understand cause and effect.
Practice with them
Lay them back on a bed or a recliner and place a lamp right over their head. You can pretend you are the dentist and use various types of safe, cold metal to get them used to the feelings. Either end of a silverware spoon would work for this. If you own a water pick, using this on your kids during ‘pretend dentist’ is a good idea to. It’s also a good time to actually brush and floss your children’s teeth so the game will also be practical.
These five ideas will really help you to make sure that your kids don’t panic every time they hear the word “dentist.” In fact, they may even start to look forward to their dentist visits. You could also remind them that they usually get a cool prize after the visit. Most dentist offices will offer a toothbrush and a balloon or a car or something like that once the appointment is over. This may be all the incentive some kids need. However, other kids need a lot more reassurance. You know your kids the best so just work with each of them on their individual level and you will be sure to see good results.