Helping Kids Enjoy Dentist Trips
It comes as no surprise that many people feel apprehension when visiting the dentist. As important and necessary as regular dental checkups are, many people still feel a sense of unease.
This effect is no more pronounced than it is in children. This does not have to be the case though. There are some very simple things you can do to help your children enjoy dentist trips, which is an attitude that will follow them throughout their entire lives.
Here are a few quick tips to help ease your kids into the world of dental health:
Stay as vague as possible. Children are naturally curious, so if you start to provide too many details about what could happen, they will likely have a myriad of questions, and you might not have an easy way to answer. Instead of saying something like “the dentist will search for cavities and drill your teeth,” say something like “the dentist will be looking around inside your mouth to make sure your teeth are healthy, and will fix them if they’re not!”
Don’t tell stories. Chances are you have some rather frightening (to a child) dentist stories, and telling them to your children could cause a lot more harm than good. Also, be sure you avoid using words such as shot, drill, scrape, or pain.
No bribes. Children can be extremely perceptive, and if you promise them a treat if they’re good, they may start to wonder if there’s a reason they wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) behave well. Don’t promise anything ahead of time, although it is OK to praise your child’s good behavior afterwards.
Accept that there will be drama. Always remember that they are still children, and children do not respond to rationality the same way that adults would. Listen to everything that the dentist says, as well. They are very well trained in dealing with children, so if the dentist asks that you leave the room, you should do so without hesitation and without fanfare.
Dental visits are a lifelong necessity, and if you follow these steps, you will be well on your way to setting your children up for success.
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