Taking good care of those baby teeth is more important than you’d think! They allow your child to learn how to chew correctly and even develop good speech patterns. However, we understand why bringing your child to the dentist can be a bit daunting, particularly if you’re a new parent. Never fear! With these five simple tips and tricks, you can ensure your child has a fun and easy visit to the dentist.
1. Play Pretend
The best way to prepare your child for the dentist is to practice as much as possible. Try “playing dentist” with them using a toothbrush, flashlights, and even a rinse cup to help them get used to having someone look inside their mouth. You can even switch roles, letting your child count your own teeth as the dentist would. Bring stuffed animals in for a check-up, and make the dentists’ office a fun game long before they even arrive for their appointment.
2. Read a Fun Book
If your child loves reading stories before bedtime, try introducing a few dentist-related books into the line-up. There are quite a few children’s books that make the trip to the dentist seem like a big adventure. Some favorites include The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist, The Crocodile & the Dentist (Taro Gome), Elmo Visits the Dentist, and Show Me Your Smile!: A Visit to the Dentist (a “Dora the Explorer” book).
3. Let the Older Siblings Help
Sometimes, the best way for a child to feel comfortable going to the dentist is to have an older sibling set a good example. Speak with your older kids about showing the little ones how to be brave and to be a big kid at the dentist’s office. Your younger ones will feel at ease by watching and learning from them.
4. Come Prepared
There are a few things you can do before your appointment to make sure the visit goes quickly and smoothly. First, we recommend that you schedule your appointment at an hour that does not coincide with their usual naptime. Try to plan the appointment for a moment where your child won’t be hungry or tired. We also suggest that you complete your forms in advance so that your waiting time is minimal. When you arrive at your appointment, feel free to bring toys and distractions to keep with them in the office. Sometimes, having a toy or stuffed animal in the chair is all a child needs to feel at ease.
5. Stay Positive!
Research has shown that a fear of the dentist is often passed down from the parents. That is why we recommend that you remain cheerful and calm while during their appointment, as your child will likely mimic your behavior. Avoid any scary words like “drills” or “needles,” and stick to the positive! Please explain how your child’s trip to the dentist will help them have strong and healthy teeth. You might also consider having your child sit in your lap while in the chair to help relieve any stress or fear they may have.
At TruBlu Dentistry, with locations in Burbank, Chicago, and Hegewisch, we want to make sure your child loves taking care of their teeth for years to come. We will work with you as a team to help make their appointment fun and run as smoothly as possible. To set up their appointment or ask us any questions about your child’s first visit, call our offices today!