No matter your age, regular trips to the dentist are a must. But what do you do if your children are adamant about not wanting to set foot through the clinic's doors? Both adults and kids alike experience fear around visiting dentists, so the unease is definitely not uncommon. If you and your family are trying to overcome discomfort about having your checkup done, there are a few nifty tips to help you take the first step.
Fill them in
Firstly, kids often need the encouragement of their parents. Explain to them what is involved in their upcoming check-up at the dental surgery and how it will help their overall health and not just oral health. Most of the time, the fear comes from not knowing what to expect when they arrive. If they are aware that there is nothing to be afraid of, they’ll be far less likely to dread the occasion. This is the initial step to ensuring that they have the best experience possible, especially if it is their first.
Be honest with them if they are destined for a more extensive procedure. There is no use in lying if your child requires a cavity to be filled or something similar. Avoiding the truth may mean visiting the dentist in the future becomes a much bigger issue than it should have been.
Additionally, staying with them during their appointment is crucial to their safety and security. Remaining by their side will give them (and yourself) peace of mind, and make the job of the dentist easier too.
Make it exciting
Kids’ dentists are used to scared children, and they usually compensate for this with toys and play areas. Showing your child that the clinic is a fun place to be. Get them excited about the experience and let them associate positive feelings with the trip.
A great way to add to the visit can be to take them for a treat afterwards, proving to them that they can expect something exciting out of their bravery. If your child has severe anxiety around these check-ups, this is a great way to positively encourage them out of their comfort zone. Facing fears is always a scary thing to do, but creating excitement and joy is where success can pop up.
If you’re creative, you can even portray dentists as superheroes – protecting your teeth from all the nasties that pop up during life. After all, you only get one set.
Pro tip: Brushing and flossing your teeth every day will make for easier trips, and the ability to avoid nasty procedures. Additionally, as tooth decay in children is prevalent, taking care of their little chompers early on will allow for good health for the long-run. Just make it fun!
Need to book in for your family’s check-ups? Get in touch with the Brighter Smiles Dental team now for all of your children’s dentistry needs.