Here are our Top 5 Tips for taking kids to the dentist!
1. Bring them at a time they are comfortable with. For example, if are they are at their best in the morning, bring them in the morning. If they are tired and/or sleepy then they tend to be grumpy when they come in, and are less likely to allow us to check their teeth.
2. Try not to promise a reward for coming to the dentist. In some ways this makes them think that it is something difficult to do and it also reinforces this in future.
3. Don’t be worried if they cry or seem shy at their first appointment. Their first visit is to familiarise them with everything and to get them comfortable with the sights and sounds. Usually towards the end of the appointment they are already better and by the next visit, they’ll be running towards the chair!
4. It’s good to talk to them before the appointment about the dentist. There are good books by popular characters like Dora and Peppa Pig that show them what to expect. Just make sure that you don’t explain anything in too much detail, as you don’t want them to worry about what would happen next!
5. If kids are getting any treatment done, best to leave the explanations to the dentist. The dentist will usually know how to explain it to the kids so they won’t get scared. For example, we don’t say the word ‘injection’ because even though it won’t be painful, most children are already primed to think that it involves pain and will be more anxious. Instead, we use terms like ‘sleepy juice’ which sound a lot less scary! Maybe even for some adults too!