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If your child dreads the visits to the dentist more than anything, it’s a good idea to lend them a helping hand. As a parent, there’s so much you can do to ease their fear by setting a good example and not fuelling their anxiety. Plus, you’ll make the trips to the pediatric a lot more pleasant in the future.
Here is a few of the best advice out there on how to make your children – if not look forward to the visits, then at least face the dentist chair with guts.
Teach them good brushing habits
First of all, you need to practice what you preach. A child with a fear of dentist will quickly understand the benefits of taking care of their own teeth but only if they see their parents doing the same. Floss once a day, talk about how brushing with care can keep them away from the dentist – but don’t mention that it might hurt if they don’t practice good dental hygiene.
Any reference to the h-word triggers unnecessary negative feelings, and you’re in for a ride the next time you need to make an appointment.
While you don’t have to make your kids tag along when you’re due for a dentist visit, you can always invite them if it’s just a routine appointment to prepare them for their own visit – www.soldentalcare.com is a family dentist, so it should be easy enough to book appointments together.
Play-pretend dentist office
Children prepare themselves mentally by playing-pretend, and you can equip them with a neat little dentist’s sets for kids, set up a dentist chair, and let them go through an appointment in their very own living room.
It’s a great opportunity for you to mention the different treatments and how it might feel, count their teeth, and make a game out of it. Let them know that it might tickle a bit and that the dentist will be careful – and remember to treat them to a cool toy at the end, just like they get from a real dentist.
Since children often have no idea what they’re in for when they must have their teeth checked, it’s easy for their imagination to run wild. Role-playing is a great way to ease all their ideas of what might happen and even give them a sense of being in control. Have a look at www.cacityfreekids.com for some good play-pretend ideas to prepare them for the trip.
The sooner your child has his or her first visit to the dentist office, the easier it will be when they grow a bit older. Start as soon as you see their first teeth, and they’ll be used to it by the time they are 6 or 7.
Positive reinforcement, such as praise after going through a treatment or just for being such a brave child, is also a helpful way to make it easier for them next year – just keep their mind on something positive, comfort them, and use humor as a clever way to distract them from the fear.
The more you go to the dentist and get them used to the idea of taking care of their teeth in order to avoid future visits, the better their dental habits will be when they grow up – and you’ll save a ton of money as well.