Children need to be psychologically prepared before they go to see dentists. They should understand that dentists are there to help them and not to hurt them. Early preparation of a kid will ensure that the visit to a dentist is as smooth as possible. Parents and older siblings have critical roles in the psychological preparation of kids before they visit dentists. The following can be done to make your child ready for a dentist visit:
1. It is important to inform your child in advance that they will have a visit to a dentist soon.
Ambushing your child on the morning that he or she is going for a dental visit is not appropriate. Communication is very key.
An ambush will make your child panic and get scared. A dental visit is not exciting news to a kid. You should ensure that you communicate this in advance to your child to reduce anxiety. This helps him or her prepare mentally for the visit.
2. Ensure that you answer any questions they may have regarding a dental visit.
Do not brush off your child’s questions. The closer an appointment draws, the more questions your child may have.
Do not give general responses to your child’s questions. Concrete answers should be able to make your child feel less anxious. Ensure that these answers are not threatening to your child. You can always reassure him or her that they are free to ask these questions to the dentist.
3. Ensure that your child understands the importance of a dental visit.
This can be done through regular communication of the roles that a dentist plays. The importance of oral care and hygiene also needs to be communicated clearly to your child.
The importance of healthy teeth should be made clear to your child. The reasons why milk teeth need to be pulled out also need to be explained to your child. This has to be done in a way that does not scare your child. You should also explain that a dentist is a friend who deals with the care of the mouth.
4. Planning for a visit to the dentist before the actual day for an appointment can help calm your kid.
This helps your child familiarize him or herself with the dentist. This will make your child more comfortable. The dentist should come out as friendly as possible during such a visit.
5. Getting your child ready to visit a dentist should involve terms that do not portray the dentist as a boogeyman.
You should not use a dentist as a threat. Telling your child that you will take him or her to a dentist if a task is not done is wrong. This antagonizes the dentist. Using words that scare your child such as needles and pain should not happen when preparing for a dental visit.
6. Being there with your child is very assuring.
Make your child understand that you will be there all through a dental visit. This makes him or her feel less anxious. Having parents during dental visits will definitely make a child more relaxed.
You can also ensure that older siblings are present during a dental visit. This makes it less terrifying for a child. The presence of these people can be comforting for your child.
7. Play pretend is suitable for young children.
Help your child pretend that he or she is a dentist for them to get a general feel of what to expect. This can be done using a doll. Encouraging a toddler to open and polish a doll’s teeth can prove helpful.
You can also tell your child to open his or her mouth for you to examine it. While doing this, make sure to assure your kid how good-looking and beautiful his or her teeth are. This will boost your kid’s confidence. It will be easier for him or her to show off the teeth to a dentist.
Going through picture books about dentists can help prepare young children mentally. You should read such books to your toddler for them to comprehend what to expect.
8. Promising your child a treat after a dental visit makes him or her stay focused.
The thought of going out and having some little fun may make your kid cheerful and eager for that day to come. Going out to see a movie or taking your child to a playground can work. Rewards such as toys can also be promised after a dental visit.
Always ensure that you go for a dentist that works well with kids. You can seek advice from your pediatrician on such a dentist. Pediatric dentists specialize in the dental health of children.
The oral hygiene and care of your son or daughter is very important. Making him or her understand this needs to be taken with the importance it deserves. You need to ensure that you prepare your child psychologically before visiting a dentist.
Lastly, arriving for a dental appointment early is important. It ensures your child is relaxed and more familiar with the environment.