Sometimes we wonder why kids are so scared of going to the dentist’s office. Then we remember the occasional pain, the moving parts that are inserted into your mouth, the loud machinery, spitting into the funnel and seeing blood, and we can understand where they are coming from. However, the fear shouldn’t stop us from taking our kids for regular checkups, cleanings, and procedures. Taking care of these things proactively can lead to great savings down the road, not to mention a lot of grief and suffering.
This is precisely why it’s worth investing some thought into how we can make the visit to the dentist’s something to celebrate and look forward to rather than fear. Here are some strategies that some parents like to use and have found successful in making dental health painless for everyone:
Find a Friendly Dentist
There are dentists who specialize in young patients and pride themselves on using techniques and methods which help kids see the dentist’s as a fun experience rather than a painful endeavor. Some use special chairs, have the right colouring pages, play animated movies on the monitors, or give them a special treat afterwards. Sometimes it’s just as easy as having the right personality. The approach of the dentist and his or her staff can make all the difference to our little patients.
Combine it With a Pleasurable Experience
Instead of counting down to the family dentist appointment like it’s death row, why not give the kids something else to count down to, like an outing to the carnival or a trip out of town. They will be so distracted by their unusual surroundings and the excitement of the entire day that a pit stop at the dentist’s office won’t be enough to drag the mood down. For example, plan a trip to cosmopolitan Montreal and make an appointment to see a Montreal dentist who provides comprehensive dental care with an emphasis on family dentistry.
Have a Good Attitude
Kids do look up to their parents, whether you like it or not. So if they hear you talking negatively about your visit to the dentist’s, don’t expect them to be excited to go. In the week proceeding your own appointment, talk openly about how excited you are to have your teeth nice and clean. Then we you come back from your cleaning and/or procedure, relay how happy you are that your teeth are clean and healthy. Now your kids won’t even realize that the dentist is someone that some people fear and this lack of anxiety and nervousness can do a lot in developing a good attitude in your kids.
Reward Good Behaviour
Though candy might not be the best reward for not wriggling in the dentist’s chair, a different small token or gift might be enough to keep your little ones quiet and well-mannered during their appointments. Once they associate a visit to the dentist’s office with a prize, especially if they are good, then appointments become opportunities to get something fun and cool, not a meeting with Pain itself. Some might consider this bribing…some might argue that it’s an exception to the rule!
Finding a way to get your dentist on your kids’ “fun list”, isn’t impossible, though it can take some hard work and time. However, it is well worth the effort as a well-mannered child in the dentist’s chair means that you can more easily fulfill proactive measures that will keep your family’s dental health up to date and without any greater (and expensive) issues.