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4 Ways To Make Your Child’s First Trip To The Dentist Fun

A yearly visit to the dentist is in store for every healthy child. The frequent trips, however, can be the source of a lot of grief, for everyone. The best way to prevent that is to start off strong and ensure your child has a good first visit to the dentist.

4-ways-to-make-your-childs-first-trip-to-the-dentist-funHave A Positive Attitude

The places your child is most likely to find reason to experience trepidation about their first trip to the dentist are the media, their friends, and you, their guardian. The easiest thing to do wrong when you’re trying to raise your child to feel comfortable going to the dentist is to assume they won’t be. Children, being more astute and perceptive than they’re often given credit for, will pick up on that, which will lead them to wonder why they should be afraid of the dentist. Start off with a positive perception of the dentist and talk about how they help your teeth remain strong. Avoid giving your child negative perceptions of the dentist, or giving them reason to wonder why they should be afraid to go.

Apply Rewards

Give your child something to look forward to after visiting the dentist. Set up a reward system with your child where brushing their teeth daily, flossing, and visiting the dentist with a positive attitude will help them work towards earning a reward. Be careful picking a reward though – dentist trips can really take the shine out of, say, a trip for ice cream or another tasty food.

Pick Your Office Carefully

To give a child a good first impression of dental care, pick the least foreboding dentist you can find in your area. Offices exist that are aware that they’re the focal point of a common phobia and put extra effort in not to fuel that. Others try to rise above it and conduct themselves like a business that doesn’t care. Don’t pick one of those places. To coax your little one into liking their dentist, bring them to one who’s likeable, where there are soft-spoken voices, minimal audible drilling, and walls that aren’t bare and sterile. If it’s your child’s first trip to the dentist, consider going to a dentistry for children & adolescents.

Talk Them Through It

If your child is already scared of the dentist, it’s even more important to coax them into being more comfortable. A lot of what’s scary about dentist appointments is part of the wider blanket fear of the unknown, so to counter that, learn as much as you can and then share that with your child. A dentist’s trip will seem less scary if you can explain what tools are used, and why, and why it’s not going to hurt (and an honest assessment of what will), and why their mouth will be fine.

It’s easy for a child to get scared of the dentist, but it’s also easy to avoid this outcome. Use the tips above to encourage a more positive dental experience for you and your child.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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