Kids and adults alike hate the dentist. It is one of the least favorite medical professions for patients, but does it have to be so bad? The answer is, of course, no. When you are going to the dentist with children, it’s more difficult than if you were going alone. But if it’s time to get everyone’s teeth cleaned, it’s important to keep up on these appointments. Luckily, there are plenty of tactics to make the process easier. Below are some tips for going to the dentist with kids.
Did you know that you are recommended to take your children into the dentist before their first birthday? That’s a lot earlier than most people would think. The gums should be checked out and some of the teeth might even be growing in already. However, the first dentist visit can wait until age 2 if the child has already transitioned to drinking out of cups and doesn’t eat at night. Still, the point remains. Starting your kids off at the dentist early will do two things—prevent complications later and get them used to the dentist at a very early age.
Prep with Brushing & Flossing
One obvious thing that bears repeating is that your time at the dentist is way easier when you take care of your teeth, mouth, and gums. The same goes for children. You should make sure that your kids are flossing every day, brushing multiple times a day, and cleaning their mouth after meals. It’s incredibly important to keep plaque off the teeth and gums. When it comes to the dentist, preparation will make the whole experience smoother.
Go to a Kid-Friendly Dentist
Some dentists specialize in children’s teeth. When they do, the whole office is designed to cater to kids. There will be toys in the waiting room, cartoons on the TV, and friendly staff who know how to work with kids. You shouldn’t take your kids to the same dentist you go to even. If you go to a sterile, boring, but effective dentist, you might want to think about taking your children somewhere else. After all, they’re kids. They need special attention and the ability to be comfortable in a children-friendly space.
Choose Modern Dentists
Another important detail when it comes to the dentist you are choosing for your child is how modern the dentist is. With an outdated practice, there are a few steps that are more uncomfortable. For example, the old-school x-ray method is a lot more uncomfortable than the modern one. New tools make cleaning and other procedures easier. An intraoral scanner removes the need to make molds. Kids don’t care about this stuff, but if the dentist uses modern tools, it will be more comfortable for all the patients.
Do Some Research
You should put a decent amount of time into finding the right dentist for your children. Of course, you should see who takes your insurance, but you should also read the reviews and look at their resources online. You can even visit the office first to get a feel for it before making an appointment. Even though you should get your child into the dentist early and often, you should still be sure the practice is right for you and your child.
Reward Good Behavior
An important thing to do is talk to your kids about the dentist and tell them that they will get a reward if they behave. What does your kid want? What do they like? Think about what a good reward would be before you go and tell them that they will get that reward if they are calm and well-behaved. This will give them incentive going into the dentist to show good behavior and be polite to the dentist and staff. You don’t have to go overboard with rewards, but incentive is important when it comes to kids attending the dentist.
Going to the dentist isn’t one of the most fun activities, especially for kids. That’s why you should do your best to make it enjoyable, effective, fast, and productive. If you cover all your bases, you will be able to get your child used to going to the dentist early and taking care of their teeth at a young age.