Going to the dentist is a trip that is dreaded by most children. As a parent, it could be a troublesome experience to say the least to take their child to the dentist, since most of the times it is accompanied by unwillingness, restraint, and even the shrill cries! To ease the experience, following are the 5 tricks that you must try on your kid to make the next trip to the pediatric dentist an enjoyable experience for your kids.
1. Positive Role Play
It is important that you prepare your child before going to the dentist in a positive manner. Play the role of a dentist, and let your child play himself/herself. It is up to you to make these role play experiences fun for your kid. Do what makes him or her happy. For instance, be polite and playful during the experience, to give off the impression that this is how dentists are. This step is a necessity because when the child does not fear the dentist himself,chances are that he would not fear the experience in the clinic either.
2. Let them Get Used to the Sensation of Dental Objects Touching their Teeth
This too, is a preventive measure. It is highly recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that parents start to use a damp cloth or a clean gauze to clean a child’s teeth, as soon as the first tooth appears. As per the AAP, it not only makes sure that the teeth stay clean, but also creates a sensory experience for the child. This sensory experience is something that is important for the child to get used to as it helps in getting over the fear of the experience in the dental clinic.
3. Accompany your Child with his or her Toys
Comforting your child during the trip to the dentist would only do good to the child’s psyche. Have you wondered why your child cannot stay away from his or her toys? It is simply because he or she finds an unmatched joy in those toys. Hence, keeping what makes them happy during a trip that they might otherwise dread, would only ease the experience for them during the trip. Likewise, keep your child occupied with playful conversations, or his or her favorite music. The idea is to comfort the kid during the trip.
4. Be a Role Model
Just like any other pediatric experience, a child who is under the age of 8 years, usually does not have an idea of what to expect. This lack of knowledge about the unknown can further work as a stress or for the child. To overcome this, take your child to your own visits to the dentist, and let him or her observe the entire process. During this time, ensure that you act completely normal, and make the experience look absolutely painless. Children learn through observations, and observing you being totally unaffected by the experience at the dentist would only infuse confidence in your child during his or her own trip to the dentist.
5. Point out the Benefits
Establish a sense of urgency. Tell your child how dental cavities can make them go ‘toothless’! Warn them of the excruciating pain that awaits them in the near future if proper dental care is not taken. In this context, establish the dentist as a hero. Explain how the dentist is the only person who saves us from the trouble, and that there is nothing that the child should be afraid of, because the dentist is there! This process of establishing a fear and then offering a solution is likely to not only convince a kid to go to the dentist, but also feel positive about the trip to the clinic.
Finally, your own persuasion skills work as the catalyst during the process. It is important that you yourself stay calm during the trip, to make the child believe that nothing is quite wrong about the trip at all. Since you understand your child the best, do not hesitate to try out things that you believe keeps him or her happy. After all, that is the key to an enjoyable trip.