Is it time for your child to visit the dentist for the first time? Has your child previously experienced an unpleasant dentist appointment and you find yourself dreading the next one? Though common for children to act nervous at any doctor appointment, we understand that you wish figure out how to prepare for the dentist and make it more enjoyable. Below, we discuss our top three tips to help your child enjoy the dentist.
1. PLAY DENTIST WITH THEM AT HOME
Sometimes, explaining to your child what to expect at a dentist appointment does not sink in as well as showing it. Regardless of your child’s age or disapproving temperament, playing “dentist” at home is an easy and immersive way to help your child become familiar and comfortable with a dentist appointment. Begin by playing the dentist yourself and have your child sit in a chair or lay down on the couch. You can get as creative as you want with setting the scene! You can dress in costume with gloves and a medical mask to prepare them for how a dentist or dental assistant may look while your child’s teeth are being cleaned. If you want them to grow accustomed to the dental tools, consider ordering a play version of the tools to incorporate into your “dentist” playtime. After showing them how a dentist appointment works, feel free to let them take a turn at being the dentist. The more comfortable they become with playing dentist at home, the less uncomfortable they will be at the appointment.
2. USE PRAISE
Use praise to speak highly of the dentist and encourage your child before visiting the dentist. Before the dentist appointment, reassure the child of how interesting the dentist office is and how exciting it may be to have teeth cleaned for you. You can even explain to the child that a dentist is the superhero for their teeth, protecting them from cavities! The less apprehensive you appear when heading to a dentist appointment, the less concerned they will be.
3. FIND A CHILD-FRIENDLY DENTIST OFFICE
Regardless of how you prepare your child for the dentist, they can still seem scared or uncomfortable for any reason. At MCR Health, we are dedicated to making sure each patient feels welcome and comfortable at our dentist offices while receiving the best care and treatment. We encourage parents and guardians to begin their child’s dental visits with us once the first tooth appears in the mouth or by the age of 12 months, sooner if any concerns are present. Contact us today to schedule your next dentist appointment for your child.