Parents probably dread taking their children to the dentist more than children themselves do. Preparing kids for a dentist visit takes some effort but it will make going to the dentist less stressful for you and your child.
One of the most important things to know is that children should visit the dentist every 6 months. It may seem like going to the dentist twice a year is overly cautious, but it’s not. Maintaing a proper oral health routine is a vital component of your child’s overall health.
Helping Kids Get Ready for the Dentist
Most childcare professionals will tell you that babies and young children crave routines. It makes children feel comfortable when they can expect something to happen and it makes them anxious if the routine changes.
If parents make going to the dentist a part of the family’s normal routine, then kids won’t freak out when it’s time to go. Too often people only go to the dentist when there is something wrong. Children (and adults for that matter) then associate going to the dentist with painful teeth.
Take your children to see the dentist regularly (every 6 months) and hopefully they’ll see it as just another normal thing they have to do.
Teach them about taking care of their teeth
Kids are naturally inquisitive and love to be hands on. They love to learn about anything as long as we present it to them in an interesting way. This year Sesame Street launched a campaign focusing on oral health called “Healthy Teeth, Healthy Me.”
They put up tons of free resources on their website to help teach kids about the dentist and keeping their teeth healthy. Here is one of the fun songs they posted about brushing your teeth:
Watching videos, singing songs, reading books and even coloring can help kids have fun while learning about taking care of their teeth.
Get them familiar with the dentist’s office
Children can feel anxious about entering new places. They don’t know what happens inside or why they need to be there. In the days leading up to the dentist appointment, try driving by the dentist’s office a couple of times. You can point out the dentist’s office and talk about how the dentist helps us keep our teeth healthy.
If your child is really scared of going to the dentist, why not take them inside one day just to have a look around. The dentist probably won’t mind letting your child sit in the waiting room and color. You might even get lucky and walk away with a free toothbrush and stickers! Then your child can see that nothing sinister happens at the dentist (let’s just hope no major root canal surgery is happening that day!).
NOTE: Information for this blog was provided by the dentist/dental clinic or retrieved from the public domain. This is not an advertisement. Inclusion in this blog is not an endorsement by The Dental Card and is provided for informational purposes only.