Going to the dentist can be a scary situation for anyone, but kids in particular may be extra-afraid of getting their teeth checked or getting a cavity filled. If you have a frightened little one, use these tips to prepare your child for a dental visit so you can avoid a freakout in the dentist's chair.
Take your kid to the park
Take your child to the park before their dental visit, not after. Why? Because your child's stress and anxiety may be through the roof and your child needs an outlet for their excess energy.
Allowing your child to play at a park can help soothe their nerves and take their mind off their upcoming dental visit. Make enough time in your schedule to take your child to the park for several minutes just before their dental visit to make the experience less daunting. Don't forget: your child will enjoy another visit to the park when they are done with their procedure.
Pick a comfort toy
Some kids like to take a comfortable object with them to doctor and dentist visits. Your child may have a favorite blanket, stuffed animal, book, or other object that brings them peace and confidence. Ask your dentist if it's OK for your child to bring a comfort item with them to their appointment, and place this item in the car the day before your child goes to the dentist so the toy is not forgotten in a rush. Sometimes something familiar is all your child needs to feel in control in an uncomfortable situation.
Watch dental videos
There are many videos available online to help kids feel more comfortable with the dentist because it teaches them what they can expect in the dental chair. Show your child age-appropriate videos (watch the videos with your child) and answer any questions and address all concerns your child has about their upcoming visit.
In addition to watching dental videos, you can take your child to the dentist before their appointment date so your child can become familiar with the establishment and know what an exam room looks like in real life. Before doing this, talk to the receptionist at your dentist's office to see if this is allowed.
Choose a kids' dentist for all your children's dental needs: pediatric dentists are specially trained to work with little mouths and situations, and will be able to give your children the best oral health care.