7 Ways to Keep Your Kids Happy at the Dentist
Keep your kids happy at the dentist by preparing for their upcoming dental visit.
Taking your kids to the dentist can be a stressful endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Thankfully, there are many strategies to make dental visits less scary and keep kids happy. So if you are the parent of a child who needs to go to the dentist, read on for some clever ideas to avoid tears, keep your toddler or older child calm, and have fun at the dentist.
Good oral health starts at home and from an early age. The more time you take to help your child get comfortable with the concept of the dentist, the better. And we have put together a list of ways you can prepare your child for the dentist without even leaving the house. Don’t worry either, as we have some tips for after the dentist visit too.
1. Read your child books about going to the dentist.
Reading books aloud stimulates your child’s imagination and expands their understanding of the world. Not only that, but reading aloud to your child is one of the essential factors in teaching them to read for themselves. So why not combine reading to your child with educating them about going to the dentist? Some of our favorite books are Sesame Street Ready, Set, Brush and The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist.
2. Let your child bring their favorite toy or stuffed animal to the dentist.
Little kids often find comfort in their plush toys. By allowing your child to bring their favorite item, you are providing them with something familiar and safe, and chances are your child will be far calmer at the dentist as a result. At Tomasik Family Dental, we love to meet new stuffies because we know these toys offer a sense of safety, predictability, and comfort in a world that can seem uncertain and sometimes frightening.
3. Dress comfortably.
The day of a dental visit is not necessarily the day for your child to show off their new dress or suit and suspenders, unless of course, that is what floats their boat. Instead, help your child select comfortable clothing and shoes that will help them feel warm and comfy while sitting in the dentist’s chair.
4. Prepare a reward for your child as an outcome of a successful visit.
Many kids are easily incentivized by the promise of a special toy or reward as a result of demonstrating a desired behavior. So, talk to your child about what special treat or reward they might like after their trip to the dentist. Some parents like to take their child out for a fun snack after a dental visit. Other parents have found that a trip to the local Walmart or Target can be helpful so their child can pick out a fun new game or book. Whatever it is, decide in advance with your child and make sure they know the expected outcomes. Then, be sure to follow through on your promise if they followed through on theirs.
5. Demonstrate excitement about going to the dentist.
Children are always watching and observing their parents, so make sure you exhibit a positive attitude and talk to your child about how exciting a trip to the dentist can be, especially if it is your child’s first trip to the dentist. If you show anxiety or worry about going to the doctor or dentist, then your child will be sure to pick up on that.
6. Let your child listen to music during their appointment.
Finding and listening to kids’ music is easier than ever with today’s mobile devices. Prepare a playlist in advance of happy kids’ songs, and be sure to bring along a kid-friendly headset that will work with your mobile device. You may even want to add songs about going to the dentist and toothbrushing to the playlist. Our favorites include the “Going to the Dentist” song and “Dental Care” by Owl City.
7. Help your child make friends with the dentist.
Teach your child that their dentist is a safe person to trust because it’s true! The dentists at Tomasik Family Dental love kids and love making new friends. The more comfortable your child is with their dentist, the easier future dental visits will be. Going to the dentist will help boost your child’s oral health.
Start by scheduling your child’s dental visit.
If it is time for your child’s first dental visit or for their dental cleaning and oral examination, be sure to request an appointment. Tomasik Family Dental has the dentists kids love near Bee Cave and Lakeway, Texas. We know how to keep kids happy at the dentist, and we have a few tricks up our sleeves to keep your toddler calm at the dentist too. So don’t delay; request your appointment today.