Smile, Kids, Teeth Cleaning Just Got Better: 5 Ways To Make Trips To The Dentist Fun
Getting kids to go to the dentist is like pulling teeth.
And if the kid knows they’re going to the dentist to get their teeth pulled?
Speaking from experience (so much painful, painful experience…), trips to the dentist, and later, to the orthodontist, were always unpleasant. From the night before through the anxiety of the waiting room and the stress of having someone’s hands in my mouth, I was a wreck.
Knowing now that there are dentists who actively make dental visits for kids pleasant is a whole game-changer. Though I don’t want to relive having my cavities filled, it gives me hope that a new generation of kids are going to have a much better experience.
Still, getting to the actual appointment can still present it’s own challenges. If you’re curious how you can help the youngsters around you prepare for their teeth cleanings, read on for some easy-to-apply tricks.
5 Tips To Make Dental Trips A Breeze
Distractions On The Day - If there’s one thing that makes time slow down and speed up all at once, it’s dread. If your young one doesn’t love the dentist, then you can work to make the car ride, the waiting room, and the drive home more pleasurable. Play games on the way over, come up with a kind of reward report card for checking off the appointment, then plan a fun activity for after.
Give Them A Choice - One of the helpful ways to get kids engaged is by presenting them with two choices. Instead of saying “We’re going to the dentist” which gives them an opportunity to say “No!”, Willow Creek Way Dentists suggest asking either/or questions. These could include “Do you want to go to the playground before or after the dentist?” or “At the dentist, do you want fruit-flavored wash, or mint?”
Play Dentist At Home - Just like playing house, a possible way to get your child more comfortable with an upcoming dental cleaning is by playing pretend dentist at home first. Greater Houston Pediatric Dentistry proposes “[setting] up your child’s favorite dolls as though they are going for a checkup and use props for the dental chair, toothbrush, and dental floss.” They can play patient while you play dentist, then you can try turning the tables.
Turn It Into An Achievement - Going to the dentist is a big deal, so why not reward it as one? With our IRLA Pack for Early Achievers, there’s a coin reserved specially for doctor and dentist visits so your child can understand what an accomplishment it is to care for their teeth!
- Learn By Watching - It’s no surprise that kids love YouTube. So lean into their natural affinity for short videos and let them enjoy a little extra screen time with some of these suggestions by Marshfield Pediatric Dentistry, including Kids teach kids about dental hygiene.
What about you? Do you have any tricks up your sleeves for getting the young ones in your life excited (or at least less terrified) about going to the dentist? Let us know!