Unless you’re a miracle worker, then we know how hard it is to get your kids to actually be excited about going to the dentist. That doesn’t mean they have to be terrified of going, however. There are a few time-tested tips for helping your kids get over their totally normal fear of the dentist. Here are four of our favorite ways to change the way your children view dental care for good.
Visit fun family dentists for kids
Even as an adult, the dentist can be quite intimidating. If the office you’re taking your children to is just plain, white, and scary-looking, of course, they are going to hate going there. But if the pediatric dentist is as fun as they are skilled, however, and the office is a welcoming and fun environment for youngsters, then your children will have a much better time during each visit. While health care clinics for adults are, well, clinical, a pediatric dentist should cultivate a warm and welcoming environment from the moment you walk through the doors.
Get them excited about dental care
It might be extremely difficult to do, but as long as you are careful with how you handle your children’s dental care, they might actually learn to appreciate their smile at a young age. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with a little bribery. If your kids are especially scared of the pediatric dentist, try promising to take them to a fun spot or purchase a cool new toy after each trip to the dentist. If they are still terrified of the dentist and don’t think the rewards are worth it, then consider giving them a fun toy to keep them occupied on the drive there.
Likewise, let your son or daughter pick their own colorful and eccentric toothbrush and toothpaste. They will feel less nervous about taking care of their teeth if their toothbrush features their favorite superhero.
Talk to them about the consequences of ignoring their teeth
Don’t scare your children by showing them nasty pictures of cavities and rotten gums, but be honest with them about the dangers of neglecting their dental hygiene. Make sure they know that no matter how much they hate the dentist, it’s something that will make them healthy and strong. If they understand why they have to go to the dental office, they might be less nervous about the trip.
Take better care of their teeth in the first place
When all else fails and you need to minimize appointments with pediatric dentists, make sure you help your kids take great care of their teeth. Even though they will still have to go see the dentist twice a year, if they have healthy and strong teeth, you won’t have to worry about extra, emergency visits.
In addition to regular brushing, be careful with the products you buy your kids, too. Hard candy and soft drinks can cause serious harm to your children’s teeth. Also, take the time to learn about the ingredients in the food and drinks your kids enjoy. According to a Journal of Pediatric Dentistry study, more than 65% of parents who buy bottled water were unaware of what levels of fluoride they contained.
It’s nearly impossible to get kids excited to see the family dentist, but as long as you’re helping them feel comfortable, then they should be able to handle pediatric dentist with minimal crying and gnashing of the teeth.