Dentist visits can be a dreadful experience for a child. They don’t know what to expect, and they hear a lot of scary stories. Thus, parents can also experience some anxiety as they may not know how their child will react. Here are tips for preparing for a visit to a pediatric dentist.
Preparing Your Child for a Visit to the Dentist
Tell Them Ahead of Time
The worst thing you can do is spring the appointment on a child last minute. This causes a lot of panic, confusion, and stress, and will cause them to be anxious about dentist appointments in the future. Instead, start talking about the appointment early to ensure that they won’t be surprised on the day of visit.
Emphasize the Importance of Dental Care
A dentist’s job is to make sure children are taking good care of their teeth and to watch how their teeth grow. If you can emphasize how important dental care is at home, your child will be a lot less scared to go into their appointment because they know it’s a part of keeping their teeth healthy.
Don’t speak about seeing the dentist as a dreadful experience or chore. Talk positively about the appointment and create excitement. If your child sees that you aren’t worried, then they won’t have anything to fear.
Have a Reward Ready
Every child wants a reward for facing their fears. While we can’t advise candy or other treats (remember, cavities!) we can suggest other options to give your child once the appointment is over. Maybe a nice lunch or a get together with friends from school would be a nice way to celebrate. Even a few minutes at the playground can bring a lot of laughter after an appointment with the dentist.
A visit to the dentist does not have to be terrible and scary. If you can prepare your child for the appointment, then you can be sure that they will not be nervous or frightened at all.