As your child gets bigger, just brushing alone won’t cut it. You’ll need to take him to the dentist for his first teeth cleaning and to help him develop good dental care habits that will serve him for his lifetime. But as with anything new, especially something like a trip to the dentist, it can be very scary for kids. Here’s how you can turn it into a positive experience and minimize your child’s fears.
Seek out and find the right dentist
You might like your dentist, but unless yours also doubles as a pediatric dentist, you’ll need to find someone else to go to. If you like your dentist, you can ask for referrals to a good pediatric dentist in your area, or ask other moms which dentist they go to. Pediatric dentists are trained to deal with small children and are very good at talking to them, entertaining them and minimizing their fears.
Be a shining example
Take good care of your own teeth for your child is watching you, as he is with everything that he sees you do. Brush your teeth together and show your child how keeping teeth clean is healthy. You can also show him age-appropriate books about dental care and what can happen to teeth if he doesn’t properly care for his.
Prepare in advance
It might be helpful to take your child along with you when you go for your teeth cleaning. She can see what happens and when she sees that you’re okay, she won’t be likely to be scared when it’s her turn.
Make the dentist less scary by pretending to clean her dolls’ teeth. Throw in some fun stuffed animals too for good measure. It could be her new favorite game!
Avoid too much information
There’s no need to delve into the world of explaining root canals and fillings. Your child only needs to know the basics. So tell him that the dentist is simply going to look at his teeth, take some pictures and brush his teeth.
If you choose the right pediatric dentist for your child, this will all be much less stressful for you and your child. Leave it up to the professionals to keep your child’s mouth healthy. Your child will detect it if you are too stressed out about it and if you’re tense, your child will be as well. Try to relax and remember that this is best for your child’s health. He might even come out of it loving the dentist and excited to keep his teeth clean.