Getting your kids to step their foot in the dentist’s office can be a real pain at times. As we all know, our child’s first encounter at the dentist can be scary for them. Fortunately, there are things that we can do about it. Here are 6 tips for when our children first encounter the dentist:
Tip #1: Start the Visits Early
This is one of the most important steps to take when you first take your child to the dentist. Most dental centres have recommended that your child should start routine visits between the ages of 3-6 months. When this happens, it is a huge help for your child. This is because when they reach the ages of 4-6, your little one will already have memories of going to the dentist and they will not be as scared.
Tip #2: Read Children’s Books with Your Child
Figure 1 Does Tiger Open Wide? by Fred Ehrlich.
There is a wide variety of Children’s books to read that will make your child excited to visit the dentist. Some great books that I would encourage your children to read are:
- Going to the Dentist by Anne Civardi & Stephen Cartwright
- Does Tiger Open Wide? by Fred Ehrlich
- I Go to The Dentist by Rikki Benenfeld
- Walter Wolf Goes to the Dentist by Leela Hope
- Sensitive Sam Visits the Dentist
To name a few. Most local book stores like Barnes and Noble or Indigo would have a wide selection of books covering this topic. Online Stores like amazon would also have an even wider selection to choose from as well.
Tip #3: Encourage Oral Hygiene at Home
If you can make the process of brushing and flossing your teeth exciting at home, then it will only be more exciting when they step foot in the dental centre. This can be done by using themed toothbrushes/floss. Some of the themes that you can use are: Trolls Hug Time Poppy, Superhero’s (Spiderman, Superman Batman, Hulk) Hot Wheels, Star Wars, and Barbie. Along with themes, you can use colorful and fun toothpastes. This can be done by using different flavours like mint and fruity flavours.
Tip #4: Let Your Child Make Decisions
This is a very important technique. This gives your child a sense of freedom because they can choose themes and flavours for when they are brushing their teeth.
Tip #5: Visit a Friendly Dentist
Visiting a friendly dentist will be the main consideration on your child having an exciting experience at the dentist. If you visit a run down, inadequate dental centre with no TV, then your child will most likely not have an exciting experience. However, if your child visits a dentist with all the newest toys in the waiting room, a big screen TV in the checkup room, with a nice lady doing their checkup, then they will have a much more exciting experience with their child. The best way that you can find these good dentists is by using google search to find a local dentist and looking at their reviews on the map.
Figure 2 Here you can see the reviews for New York Dentists. Be Sure to look at the ratings of each dentist to decide which one is best for you.
Tip #6: Make Visits Fun
This in my opinion, is my favourite tip out of them all. You can make appointments on PA days, and do something fun like going to a waterpark afterwards. This will bring excitement for the day and motivate your little one to get out to the dentist in the morning. It’s all about having the positive experience.
About the Author
Rhys has a passion for general dentistry. He is currently a dentist working out of Ontario, Canada. He likes to read books and expand his knowledge on oral health and dentistry and learn from more experienced dentists on how to run a great dental centre. He takes pride in his work and looks forward to what he does every day.
Rhys currently runs a family dentistry blog that covers the newest practices, technologies and procedures when it comes down to dentistry, along with some more patient-friendly articles as well.