Tips to Help Kids Feel Comfortable Going to the Dentist
There are certain things kids just love to do. Going to the playground, of course, is high on that list. So is watching their favorite show, eating ice cream, playing with a new toy, etc. Each child is unique in terms of his or her own likes and dislikes, but there are some things which are pretty much unanimous across the board.
You know what doesn’t make that list? Going to the dentist. At Spokane Dental, we take pride in the experience we offer our patients. We work hard to make your visit to our office a comfortable one. With that said, we are realistic about the situation, and we understand that many people – including most children – don’t exactly look forward to their dental appointments.
As an adult, you can rationalize the situation if you are anxious about your appointment. Even though you might not love going to the dentist, you know it is in your best interest for the long-term. By having your dental work done, your oral health will be on a better track moving forward. It is this rational approach that allows most adults to keep up with dental care.
That same rationale might not work so effectively with kids, however. A child isn’t likely to understand the idea of protecting their oral health in the long run. Instead, he or she is just going to be upset that you are making them go to the appointment.
So, what can be done? We have listed a few ideas below that may allow your child to feel more comfortable about going to the dentist regularly.
Make It Friendly
Before you even arrive at Spokane Dental, you can lay the groundwork for a good visit by explaining that the dentist and others working in the office are friendly and fun. If you build up the dentist’s office as a scary and intimidating place, it will naturally feel that way to the child. We like to think we are fun, and we certainly do our best to be friendly. If you can frame your child’s expectations in a positive way, things might get off to a better start when you arrive for an appointment.
Offer Direct Support
Even if you set the stage for a good experience, there may be some intimidation when arriving at the office, especially for small children. If that is the case, there is nothing quite like mom or dad physically being close at hand for comfort. Your child may want to cuddle while you wait for your appointment to begin, or he or she may just want to hold hands. Instead of becoming annoyed with your child for being scared or nervous, take an understanding approach and offer the support they need.
Honesty is the Best Option
You may think that you can make the trip to the dentist easier by misleading your child about what will take place during the visit. Most likely, however, this approach is only going to lead to more trouble. Even if they don’t like to hear it at the time, providing your child with an honest accounting of what will happen in the dentist’s office is the best way to get ready. Explain that the dentist does this kind of work all the time and that many people each day come and go from the office without a problem. Tell your child about dental work that you have had done in the past, and how your teeth are better now thanks to that work. Armed with the truth, your child may surprise you with his or her ability to rise to the occasion and handle the appointment nicely.
If your child has a difficult time getting comfortable in unfamiliar environments, arriving at Spokane Dental's office in Spokane Washington with plenty of time to spare until your appointment is a good plan. This way, you can get checked in and have a few moments to sit down and talk with your child before he or she is called back for the appointment. Just having the chance to look around and see other people coming and going may normalize the situation.
Get Started at a Young Age
You only have one chance to hit on this point, so it won’t help you much if your child is already older. But, if you have a small child, get started with regular dental visits at an early age. This will help to make the child more comfortable with what goes on in a dental office, and the routine work will not seem like such a big deal later on.
Perhaps more than anything else, one of the best things you can do for your children with regard to dental visits is simply to be positive. If the child senses that something is ‘off’ from a usual day, that feeling might add to their apprehension about the overall situation. Don’t build up a dental visit into anything more than it is. If you make a big deal out of it, the child is naturally going to think that there is something to be worried about. Instead, try to treat this appointment just like any other appointment. Your children follow your lead in countless ways, so set the tone by being positive and hopefully, they will follow. Wenatchee Valley Dental Village a pediatric dental office adds, "Refrain from using intimidating words that could cause your child unnecessary fear. Dentists and their staff are conditioned to use words that convey a positive and pleasant message."
Thank you for taking a moment to visit Spokane Dental. We love caring for children in our office, and we love taking care of the dental needs of their parents, as well. We know bringing your children in for a dental visit can be stressful for both parent and child, but you will be doing their long-term oral health a great favor when you make an appointment.