How to Have a Successful Dental Visit for Your Child
Some parents think that getting their kids to go to the dentist is like pulling teeth. Parents are always wondering about how they can make the most out of their child’s dental visit.
Here are some tips:
• Be a positive role model for your children. Be upbeat and get your kids excited to visit the dentist. Children are very perceptive and will pick up on any fears or hesitations you may have.
• Bring your very young children to your next cleaning appointment, if they are comfortable they can sit and have a ride in the chair, look at the equipment, or maybe even “examine” Mr. Bear’s teeth. Kids love to role-play.
• Make appointments for when your child will be well rested and well fed. Bring along a favorite toy or blanket.
• Read happy books at home about going to the dentist. One of our favorite stories is Dora’s “Show Me Your Smile.”’
If your children are coming to see Dr. Eggert for fillings or extractions, answer their questions honestly without going into too much detail. If the child asks, “Will I need a shot?” respond with “Yes, Dr. Eggert will probably want to put your teeth to sleep. Let her tell you more about it when we are there.”
Parents should wait in the waiting room, if possible, during these appointments. Children do better when they have no distractions and Dr. Eggert can talk with them directly. If we find it necessary for a parent to be in the treatment room, it is very important for the parent to let Dr. Eggert and her team members do the talking. Parents who use phrases like, “That’s the worst part” or “You are almost done” can do more harm than good because if the parent is not correct, the child feels lied to and that can jeopardize any future appointments.
Children, like adults, need a preventative recall appointment twice each year. We recommend that children as young as two start coming for their check-ups. Tooth decay is not the only reason to go to the dentist – the most important reasons are for prevention and education about oral health.
Finally, we need parents to be present or at least available by cell phone for all dental appointments. This is so we can discuss your child’s visit with you. Also, you may need to make an important decision for your child. We look forward to seeing your kids soon!