How to Prepare Your Child for Dental Visits

Dentists know that no one really wants to come in for visit, even if it’s for a simple check-up. However, no one dreads visiting the dentist more than children. Well, maybe the parents of the children dread the dentist more, just for the fact that they’re the ones who have to prepare the children for the visit and deal with the aftermath. Aside from ensuring that your child brushes and flosses on a daily basis, there are some things you can do to lessen the stress of taking your child to the dentist.

Brush, Floss, and Rinse Your Teeth

Before you hop in the car, get your child to brush and floss their teeth. It’s easier to spot any potential problems when their teeth and the spaces between them are clean. The sooner the dentist can identify potential problems, the sooner your child can start preventative treatment, which means avoiding the dreaded dentist’s drill.

After they clean their teeth, have them rinse with mouthwash. It will kill any harmful microorganisms taking up residence, and it’s a nice gesture for the dentist. Find a non-alcohol mouthwash to prevent a burning sensation.

Follow up the Visit with a Reward

Reward your child for good behavior at the dentist with a trip to the movies, a park, an arcade, or any other outing your child greatly enjoys. If they start associating the dentist with an activity that is fun, it will reduce their anxiety and stress levels.

Explain What to Expect

For your child’s first visit, talk to them about will happen at the dentist office and why. Read them a book about visiting the dentist and/or have them watch a children’s show about it.

The Earlier, the Better

This tip goes in two ways. First, start taking your child to the dentist as early as possible to get them accustomed to the routine. Some pediatric dentists take children as young as six months.

Second, schedule the appointment for as early as possible. Not only does it get it out of the way first thing, but it also greatly reduces the risk of bringing a cranky or hungry child to the dentist.

These tips are great for adults too, to help dental visits go more smoothly. Wouldn’t you look forward to going to the dentist more often if you always followed it up with a trip to an amusement park?

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