Toddlers and other young children may love stuffing anything and everything into their mouths, but when it comes to visiting the dentist, it may be slightly trickier to get them to open wide. But going to the dental clinic with your child doesn’t have to be a challenge. At Rodeo Dental & Orthodontics in Fort Worth, TX, the team of pediatric dentists explains three ways to prepare your child for a dentist visit so that everyone comes out smiling.
Give your child an idea of what they can expect well before the dentist appointment. Talk to them about what a dentist is and why visiting a dental clinic regularly is important. Assure them that the dentist is there to help! Also, talking to them about what the dentist will be doing during the visit, whether it’s cleaning their teeth or applying a filling, can help them feel more prepared and less anxious about what may happen when they’re in the dentist’s chair. If you can, visit the dental clinic for a tour beforehand so your child gets a sense of the surroundings.
Use evening story times to role-play the dentist appointment. Be the dentist while your child is the patient, then switch roles or use stuffed animals so that your child has a chance to play the dentist as well. Use toothbrushes, floss, and other props as part of the act to make it as realistic as possible. Being able to play a typical dentist appointment at home to the best of your ability can ease the child’s fears and allow them to better understand how a dental clinic works and what the dentist will do.
Set A Good Example
In addition to talking to your child about healthy dental habits, make sure you’re practicing what you preach! Children are greatly influenced by their parents’ actions; let them see that you’re taking care of your own teeth so that they are encouraged to do the same for theirs. Show them how you brush and floss, and show enthusiasm about a dental visit—your positive energy will likely rub off on them.
For more on getting your child comfortable at the dental clinic or to schedule an appointment with an experienced pediatric dentist, contact Rodeo Dental & Orthodontics at (817) 380-5574, or visit their website.