The dentist’s office has never had the reputation of being a hot spot for children, especially toddlers. Having strangers poke around your mouth can be a scary moment for young children, but not all hope is lost for parents. There are several ways you can make the dentist not only comfortable for toddlers and young kids, but also something they look forward to and enjoy. Here are some of the best ways to help.
Create a Relationship
Establishing a relationship between a child and their dentist creates an environment that is comfortable and fun for everyone involved. Parents should do their research and find a local dentist’s office that is specifically geared toward children if possible. The dentists working here are more likely to enjoy working with young children and will go that extra mile to make their young patients feel comfortable. If possible, parents should also try to have their kids meet with the same dentist, or dental assistants every time. This allows the child to form a personal relationship with their dental caretakers and look forward to trips to the dentist’s office.
Make It a Special Event
A great way to get toddlers to look forward to going to the dentist is to make it an event. Parents can take their kids to a special outing after their appointment is over. Whether it be their favorite restaurant, out to the movies, or something else, make it something to look forward to and get excited about. Another option is to let your child pick out something special at the store. Reward a job well done and toddlers will be far more likely to look forward to their dentist visit and to also be a well-behaved patient.
Grant Bragging Rights
A parent can work hard to help their children maintain good oral hygiene and get them excited to show off their hard work to a dentist or hygienist. This method gives kids bragging rights. Toddlers thrive off praise, and to receive praise from their doctors can be a special moment. Parents can make oral care enjoyable with fun toothbrushes, toothpaste, oral hygiene apps, games, etc. According to Hammond Dental, offering oral health education helps both dentists and patients and can give your kids opportunities to satisfy their curiosity. If a child feels proud of the job they have done, they can go to the dentist’s office with their head held high and an excitement to brag to their dentist. Parents can also encourage their dentist before the appointment to respond with over-the-top excitement over their child’s success.
Going to the dentist does not have to be a struggle for parents or their children. Excitement can be found anywhere and, as long as children have something to look forward to, the dentist will always give them a reason to smile.