Visiting the dentist regularly is important but can be a less than pleasant experience, especially for children. Luckily there are some things you can do to help steer the visit in a more positive direction. Here are three ways to make the dentist less scary for kids.
1. Be Mindful of Phrasing
Leading up to the kids dental care Braintree MA visit, pay attention to the way you discuss the appointment and dental offices in general. Try not to use words such as “hurt” or “pain” when describing the visit and instead, opt for phrases like “healthy, clean teeth.” Also, be careful not to describe your own experiences with painful root canals and extractions, especially since your child may not even need to get these procedures.
2. Play Dentist at Home
To help familiarize your child with the process of going to the dentist, consider practicing for a visit at home. Either use a toothbrush and hold a mirror up to the child’s teeth or have the child practice the role of dentist on a stuffed animal. Making the process of visiting the dentist more familiar and getting your child used to what will happen at the appointment might make the actual visit less scary and intimidating.
3. Avoid Bribes
Avoid bribing the child with a favorite treat or trip to their preferred fast food venue if they “don’t cry” or “don’t fuss” during the appointment. This action may only lead the child to wonder what might happen at the dentist that would make them want to cry or fuss. If the child behaves well during the appointment, however, feel free to use positive reinforcement and commend them on their behavior without bribery.
The next time your child has an upcoming dental appointment, try one or all of these suggestions to help the visit go smoothly.