Some kids have a hard time accepting the idea of going to the dentist, and this can make things terribly difficult for the parents that have to make sure that they go for their regular checkups and cleanings. If you have a child that fears the dentist, you will want to try to make this as enjoyable of an experience as possible. To help you do just that, you will want to check out the following suggestions.
Locate A Pediatric Dentist
While a family dentist can see everyone in the family, including your small children, they do not specialize in pediatric dentistry. When you have a child that is afraid to go to the dentist, this is not the best route to take. You will want him or her to visit a pediatric dentist, as this is a dentist that will have more experience with children just like yours. Also, those dentist offices tend to be a little more kid friendly. There may be brighter colors on the walls and fun toys to receive as treats upon check out. It can be a place your child eventually looks forward to going to.
Take Turns Giving Each Other Dental Exams At Home
The purpose of this game is to get your child as comfortable with the idea of a dental checkup. You will each take turns playing the dentist, while the other is the patient. After a while, your child will have so much fun playing dentist that he or she will want to start giving everyone else in the house a dental checkup. Just give your child a tongue depressor and let them check out the condition of your teeth. Do make sure that your child is taking a turn as the patient, as this gives them the chance to get used to someone poking around in their mouth. They will quickly see that there isn't anything to be afraid of.
Promise Some Sort Of Reward
Do not think of it as a bribe. Think of it as positive reinforcement for a job well done at the dentist's office. Let your child have a small toy or balloon after the successful completion of a check up and cleaning. You might be surprised to find that your child will begin to look forward to these twice yearly visits because of the fun they get to have afterwards.
The more of an effort you put into making this as positive of an experience for your child as possible, the easier the visit will be for everyone involved. Also, you will find that once you get through one or two successful trips to the pediatric dentist office, your child will not be as fearful anymore. The level of fear will simply start to diminish.