Encouraging your kids to go to the dentist can be stressful and, let’s face it, there are plenty of adults out there who throw tantrums about scheduling an appointment.
As a parent, it’s your role to soothe boo-boos, nightmares, and phobias but it can be challenging to comfort your child when it’s something you’re not so fond of yourself. Specifically, we’re talking about going to the dentist.
If you have anxiety about going to the dentist because of a previous unpleasant experience, fear of procedures, or because you dislike your dentist, it can be difficult to convince your child to go for routine dental cleanings.
The reality is that good dental health starts at home. When your child is old enough to learn about and understand what going to the dentist means, it’s important to teach them about their teeth. Now, there’s nothing that says this has to be a serious talk or lecture, just try incorporating it into their daily routine.
And if you’re currently unhappy with your family dentist, we encourage you to find a new one that fits your family better. Joyner Dental Arts in Cedar Rapids is happy to accept new patients and we love taking care of kids’ smiles.
If you’re having a difficult time convincing your child to come to the dentist, here are some clever ways to encourage them.
1.Start visits at a young age
Bringing your child to the dentist at an early age can make all the difference in their anxiety level. Start booking dental visits for your child around the ages of 3 and 6 months so they get used to routine checkups. Waiting until they’re five or six can instill some serious anxiety, especially when they’re introduced to a new office, new people, and some well-meaning but intrusive hands.
2.Show your child around the office
Kids are curious, so show them that there’s nothing to fear. Let us know when you’re coming for your first visit and we’ll give you and your young one a tour. This will give them a chance to get to know our staff members and the office.
3.Prep them at home
If your little one is like the toddlers we know, they love playing pretend. Playing pretend dentist at home is a great way to prep your child for visiting us. Pick up a small dental mirror when you stop by your local Target or Walgreens so you can help your child count their teeth!
4.Skip the bribes
This one might be tough for some of us, especially since every parent resorts to a bribe every now and then. Trust us, we’re not judging you at ALL, but try to avoid bribing them with candy, ice cream, or sugary treats that will wreak havoc on their smile.
Keep letting them know that routine checkups are no biggie and there’s nothing to worry about. It will pay off in the end.
5.Eat before your appointment
A lot of parents withhold food from their little ones until after the dentist because it makes for a great incentive, but this is a BAD idea. A young one on an empty stomach is grouchier than a full one.
Teaching your child about proper dental care is what we’re all about. At Joyner Dental Arts, we’re happy to help take care of your child’s smile. Give our team in Cedar Rapids a call today to schedule your appointment.