The kids and the dentist, a match made somewhere other than in heaven. A nightmare for young parents everywhere, but the simple fact is – kids have an inherent fear of dentists.
This means that parents have to figure out how to make sure that their children are able to get over this fear. Great parents want their kids to have a great life and of course, children don’t realize that you’re doing what’s best for them.
Kids love to do everything that isn’t good for them and aren’t really big fans of the things that are actually good for them. They love candy, they dislike vegetables, they love not listening, they dislike a lack of attention, they want to be the boss, even if they have no idea what they’re doing.
Parents in New Hyde Park, NY and other places across the globe have a tough job when it comes to doing what’s right for their kids, but we all have to do it. That’s our job.
With that in mind, let’s go through a few tips to help make your life easier when it comes to taking your kids to the dentist and making it a pleasurable experience for all involved.
Teach Kids about Dentists at a Young Age
1. Start by brushing your teeth with them
Getting them to understand the importance of dental hygiene from a young age is important, but it may be easier to show them than to tell them. Let them use their energy and ability to mimic and show them what they need to do. Let them watch you brush your teeth and then guide them in brushing their teeth.
Starting off with this process and talking to them about different aspects of dental care including a trip to the dentist will help them to have that concept in their young minds.
2. Progress to Showing Them How to Floss
As long as they’re watching you and following your routine, they’ll be more compliant. Let them continue to hear about the eventual trip to the dentist and how he might provide them with surprise if they do well, this can help adjust them to the idea and be more inclined to go.
Make sure to show them daily how to properly brush their teeth and take care of their oral health while mentioning the dentist and the potential fun in store when they see their dentist.
3. Kids fear the unknown, you do too.
Children are still learning about life; they have no idea what a dentist is, what they do, and how they matter in relation to them. This is why you have to introduce them to the topic of a dentist.
Show your children videos on Youtube that show some of the basic dental procedures such as cleaning and checkups and how they help people smile and leave happy. If you’re able to associate going to the dentist as something that is a pleasurable experience for all involved, kids are much more likely to be able to get over their fear of dentists.
The key is to give them continuous exposure to the positives that await them at the dentist office, the fun people that will be at the office, and the potential surprises that they might be able to receive if they’re on their best behavior.
4. Refrain from Pain Words
Only frame the experience as positive. Don’t mention words that may scare your children away, such as; scrape, drilling tools, hurt, blood, pain, and other words that can seem to come straight out of a scary movie. Those aren’t going to get your kids to go to the dentist by any stretch of the imagination.
Bring about feelings of joy and a great experience by talking about feeling fresh and clean after going to the dentist and as always, talk about the stickers or the potential rewards that they might be able to get.
5. Play Dentist
Have a little fun and make them the dentist.
Show your children that you’re interested in taking a trip to the dentist and that you’d like to do a dry run with them. Give them a “dentist” coat, a toothbrush, a flashlight, a mirror and let them do a quick five-minute check-up. At the end, ask them if everything looks great and tell them how great your teeth feel.
When they do the “procedure” on their own and play the part of a dentist, they’ll be that much more comfortable when someone else is playing the role of a dentist.
Pro Tip – have them give you a treat at the end of check up!
A Dental Professional Can Help
Good dentists understand that there are a variety of issues that they have to deal with – those of technical nature and those that are of the social and personal nature. At Silverstein & Vinciguerra, LLP we understand that in order to be the absolute best, you have to be good at it all.
If you’re in or around New Hyde Park, NY, contact us today for a truly professional dental staff that sincerely cares about your child’s oral health care and their experience with the dentist.