How to Calm Your Child on Their Visit to the Dentist
Nobody wants to see a dentist if they don’t absolutely have to, and this is especially true for kids. It’s not that kids fear that dental chair so much because they know what they’re in store for; it’s more of the fact that they have no clue. It’s a new experience for them. Generally speaking, it’s a stale white, bright room, and they’re sat down in a chair where a person with a mask comes in and starts digging around in their mouths. That might be most of the reason that adults still panic when they’re in that chair! It can be a very traumatizing thing, to be sure.
However, kids need to get into the habit of practicing proper dental care and oral hygiene early on in their lives, and so they should become accustomed to seeing a dental practitioner as early on as possible. Though that’s a lot easier said than done for parents of younger kids. How in the world are you supposed to keep them calm through this sort of odd, frightening experience? Well, there are no guarantees at all, but here are a few ways that seem to work on a whole lot of children to keep them calm while visiting the scary “You-know-who.”
5 Ways to Keep Your Kid Calm in the Dental Chair
1: Be There with Them
Kids have a primal attachment to their parents. When mom or dad go off to work or the store, children often cry and scream and want them to come back. They want you to be there with them, just so they know that you’re not abandoning them. So make sure that you’re in that dental office with your children. Be there holding their hand. Let them know that there’s nothing bad going to happen to them; mommy and/or daddy is right here for them. Your presence is something that can help keep them calm, especially when combined with other tips.
2: Explain it to Them
Kids might not be able to articulate a lot of things using their words, but they understand a whole lot more than what most people give them credit for. One of the best ways to keep your kid calm while at the dentist is to explain it all beforehand. Some parents even like practicing what’s going to happen. They’ll sit their children down in a chair and use a toothbrush to go over their teeth, explaining what’s going to happen and showing how it’s not going to hurt. This can help a kid get prepared for what they’re going to experience in the chair.
3: Make it a Fun Experience
Another great way that a lot of children are calmed on their first dental visit is for parents to actually make a fun experience out of it. A lot of children’s dental practitioners have playgrounds set up or toys in their waiting rooms, so you and your kid(s) can have some fun before the appointment. Letting loose and just being a kid means that they’re not thinking about the upcoming experience enough to worry; and with any luck, they’ll be thinking about getting back their playtime while they’re in the chair.
4: Find the Right Dental Practitioner
It also matters a great deal about the dental service you select and the professionalism and experience of the doctor in question. So, for sure, you want a professional who specializes in children. You want someone who knows exactly how to deal with kids because they deal with kids all the time. A great dental practitioner has their own bag of tricks to help calm kids down, which when combined with the parents there encouraging their children can make things go a whole lot smoother.
5: Make it a Busy Activities Day
Treat your kids to a day of fun when taking them in for their first dental appointment. Take them to a park or to grab one of those hamburger meals with the toys in them. Do something fun for them, and plan it out in advance. The goal here is to give the kid something to look forward to, right after they’re out of that dental chair. This way, their mind might be on the future, not on the present. Kids are really eager this way.
Following a few simple tips might be enough to keep your children calm while on a dental visit, though regardless you should be there every step of the way encouraging them through the experience, while also picking the absolute best dental practitioner you can find in the area for children.
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