Thursday, March 16, 2017
Tips for a Positive Dentist Visit with Young Children
Taking a young child to the dentist is stressful. We've had good and bad experiences over the years. In today's post, we'll share some tips for helping young children at the dentist and tell you that we have finally found our "happy place" when it comes to visiting the dentist. Actually, it's beyond our "happy place" as our son says that he wants to be a dentist when he grows up!
When your children are young, take them with you to your dentist appointments. My husband and I used to schedule our appointments to be one after the other. Our dentist would let us bring our son back for my part of my visit (minus x-rays) so that he could watch. This exposure let me serve as a role model and show my son that the dentist is someone who we trust and that helps us to be healthy.
2. Find a dentist that other moms recommend.
Ask other moms for recommendations about dentists in your area. Personally, we live in Southlake, TX and I will tell you that we love Dr. Patel at the Rufe Snow location of Jefferson Dental on 6250 Rufe Snow Dr. in North Richland Hills, TX 76148. My 6-year-old recently visited them and they were phenomenal with him. Not only were they were able to complete everything as planned without any meltdowns (cleaning, x-rays, and exam), but my little one left with a smile and now says that he wants to be a dentist when he grows up. They are amazing with children. Actually, Dr. Patel was so popular at the Dallas office that he was promoted as the lead dentist at this location.
3. Reward good behavior.
Personally, we give our son a reward for good behavior because we know that it may be intimidating for little ones to visit the dentist. Our son earns the option for an extra Mommy-and-Me lunch at a restaurant of his choice or 30 minutes of iPad time. You know your child best, so select a reward that you know fits their interests.
4. Celebrate good dental hygiene and "lost" teeth with the tooth fairy.
The tooth fairy loves to collect healthy teeth. It is important to practice good dental hygiene so that the tooth fairy leaves top dollar for each tooth that is left under a pillow! Our son has been lucky to receive money covered in fairy dust under his pillow. This makes it fun to take good care of his teeth. It is also something to look forward to when he has a loose tooth.
5. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Practice good oral hygiene from the time that they are babies and onward. When my son was a baby, I sang the ABC song so that he not only learned his ABC's early, but also had a better understanding of when I would be done brushing his teeth. We take oral hygiene seriously because it is much better to prevent cavities than to go through the process of having them filled.
6. Teach your child to understand the hard work and dedication of dentists.
Always have a positive and happy attitude about visiting the dentist. It takes hard work to become a dentist and we are lucky to have someone who is so dedicated to helping us with a healthy smile. I've heard some people say, "I don't like the dentist." Personally, you will never hear that kind of talk at our house. We teach our child to have a positive attitude toward dentists and to be grateful for their expertise.
Finally, don't stress if your child isn't perfect. Try your best to be a good role model and it will pay dividends. Children go through phases and your consistency will pay off. We've all had our moments!