Most parents have experienced their children’s reluctance to go to the dentist. It’s hard to watch your child have a scary or intimidating experience, but it’s also unavoidable because you know how important good dental hygiene is. With half of American children ages 12 to 15 suffering from tooth decay, it’s critical to go to the dentist. If you’re wondering how to find quality preventive dental care that your child won’t object to, here are a few ways to make the dentist more fun.
1. Find a local pediatric dentist.
Before you take your child to a new dentist, check out a few local pediatric dentists to see where you feel most comfortable. Pediatric dentists offer special services that adult dentists don’t have, and some offices are more kid-friendly than others. The best dentist for children will have a fun play room with lots of toys, brightly colored walls, and lots of friendly receptionists, dental hygienists, and dentists. Anyone who works at the office should be experienced with children and know how to reassure them that the dentist isn’t scary. It’s also helpful if the dentist has toothpaste and fluoride treatments that are crazy colors and flavors. All of these features help distract your child from their fear of the dentist, and with any luck, they will look forward to their next visit.
2. Find some children’s books about the dentist.
Avoid any books that mention scary stories, and instead try to focus on short, fun books with lots of illustrations. The ideal book about the dentist will explain what happens and address children’s fears, while also assuring them that the experience isn’t too bad. The best pediatric dentist’s office will be able to suggest some books that put a positive spin on a dentist visit.
3. Bring your child to the dentist for a visit, before their appointment.
Some children have an intense fear of the dentist that can’t be solved with brightly colored walls and picture books. If your child is afraid of the dentist to such an extent that a visit is impossible, bring them to the office for a few visits, with the promise that they won’t have to get any work done. It can help if your child gets to know the office. It may also make them feel more comfortable if they can get to know the hygienist who will clean their teeth. Even better is allowing your child to watch someone else’s teeth be cleaned, because then they will know that it’s a harmless and pain free procedure.
If your child is afraid of the dentist and you have any tips on finding a local pediatric dentist, please leave a comment below. To see more, read this.