It’s not always fun and games when you have to go to the dentist. However, it’s an important visit that needs to be made so that you can keep the teeth healthy. Children especially need to visit the dentist from the time that they are younger so that the doctor can monitor the teeth to see if there are any cavities and to make sure the teeth are growing properly. Here are a few strategies to use to make a trip to the dentist fun at any age.
Find A Kid-Friendly Dentist
Don’t expect a dentist for adults or even a family dentist to have an office that looks the same as one who specializes in children. Find a dentist, like those at Kemper, William E, who caters to children and cares about their feelings and fears. Talk to the dentist before making the first appointment. Your child should feel comfortable talking to the dentist. If you sense any anxiety, then try to show your child some of the fun things in the office that keep the mind off of cleanings and other procedures. Look for a dentist who has an office designed for children with bright colors, a television and comfortable seating. The office staff should be knowledgeable about children as well and care about the job that they perform.
Use A Reward System
Whether it’s a chart on the wall for brushing the teeth or a chart for each visit to the dentist, try using a reward system to make taking care of the teeth fun. Put a sticker on each day of the week that your child brushes his teeth. After the week is over, your child can pick a prize from a box that has stickers, small toys, and other items. When your child goes to the dentist, you can offer larger prizes for a good report. This can be used as a way to encourage brushing and flossing every day, but making a successful trip to the dentist should result in a reward as well.
Find a stuffed animal that your child can hold while at the dentist. You can also use the animal to show your child about how to brush the teeth and what the dentist will do in the office. If your child has a visual aid or something for security, then it can make going to the dentist less of an issue.
Reinforce to your child that the dentist is a friend. Start talking about visiting the dentist a few days before the appointment. Use rewards and other tools to show that caring for the teeth is exciting and important.