We recently all had dentist appointments. As an adult, having had a few bad experiences at the dentist, I always get nervous going to a dentist. Especially a new one. But this is not a feeling I want to pass on to my children. So today I want to share with you my Top 5 Tips for Making the Dentist Easier for Kids.
If You Don't Have Something Nice to Say...
Even if you don't like going to the dentist, don't let your children know that! Young children are very impressionable and just by saying that you don't like the dentist, or you are nervous, you can pass those fears onto your children! So just like my mother always used to tell me, if you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all!
Talk About It
Especially for a young child who hasn't been to the dentist before, sometimes simply talking about it ahead of time helps. Tell your children that the dentist is nice and he or she will want to count their teeth and brush and floss them! And maybe if you are lucky they might even take pictures too!
See!? That doesn't sound scary at all now does it!?
And many children simply need to know what to expect in order to be comfortable with the experience.
Trust the Dentist
Let's be honest, the dentist wants to make it a fun experience for children too! Have you ever seen a dentist office that doesn't give children a pencil, sticker or a fun toy!? You don't have to go to a pediatric dentist to receive this treatment. Nearly all dentists do this.
But even if they don't, your child will surely leave with at least a new toothbrush and sample of toothpaste and that never ceases to absolutely THRILL my kids!
If All Else Fails...
You go to the dentist two times a year. Out of 365 days, only 2 of them are spent at the dentist office. In my unprofessional opinion, you won't create a bad habit of bribing by finding a fun way to celebrate after a visit.
If your child is really nervous, tell them that afterwards you can go and do something really fun! Like go to the park, or the pool or maybe go to the dollar store to pick out a toy! This will help create a fun experience, something to look forward to and can become a fun family tradition for years to come!
It doesn't have to cost money, children value time spent with them far more then anything bought at the store. So find a fun way to celebrate afterwards that fits with your family!
Make Dental Care Fun At Home Too
The dentist won't be fun if you don't teach your children the importance of oral hygiene at home. So be sure to help make brushing, flossing and mouthwash fun!
We love finding fun toothbrushes and toothpaste for our children to use. Right now we are especially digging some of the fun character toothbrushes and toothpastes that Orajel has! Their line of products has seen us through infant teething troubles to oral care of our older children (currently age 4 and 7).
I also love that many of Orajel's products are all natural! And my children love that their toothpaste and toothbrush have fun characters on it!
And let's be honest, brushing teeth is so much more fun if you are using a Bubble Guppies toothbrush or Thomas the Train toothpaste! (If you are under the age of 8 anyway 🙂
Sometimes we will even play a short song while the kids are brushing, flossing and doing mouthwash to help make it fun! So get creative and be sure to help your children make this a part of their daily routine early in life!
Orajel Smilestones is having a fun photo contest right now! This is an opportunity for you to share your child's smile milestone! Do you have a favorite smile stage? The toothless grin...when they just have a few teeth coming in...or when they are grown and have all their big teeth in!? There are so many fun smile milestones and it's time to celebrate where your children are right now!
You can find out more about Orajel here.
So I've shared my tips for making the dentist easier, now it's time to share yours! Please leave a comment letting me know your best trick to help your child enjoy the dentist!!
What a great post! We have such a hard time taking our five year old to the dentist. He is always afraid. I love that all of the products are natural! I'll need to stock up!
Thanks Jesseca! It is so hard to have a worried kiddo at the dentist 🙁 I'm so sorry.
Great suggestions. As a former dental hygienist, having parents read stories about a trip to the dentist ahead of time was was my number one tip for a successful experience. Almost always worked!
What a great idea Sarah!! I will have to look for a book for my kids! Thanks for sharing!
My girls were scared of the dentist, but talking about it really helped them. Thanks for these great tips!
Oh I am so glad you were able to help your girls in that way! Thanks so much for stopping by Stephanie!
My husband is so nervous of the dentist I rarely tell him when the kids have appointments,.. they don't mind!
These are great tips! My boys are due to go to the dentist so I'll have to keep these in mind. <br /><br />-Erin @ DIY on the Cheap
Melanie @ bear rabbit bear
We had to start off with a children's dentist until she warmed up to going!
Your tip about making sure to tell your children what the dentist is and how nice he or she is! Children are actually quite a bit like us. Most of our anxieties and fears come from the unknowns and confusing expectations. If a kid knows what to expect—with a dose of optimism—then he or she will have a better time at the dentist.
Usually kids are frightened with dentist because they know that they may suffer pain if they have really bad teeth. But I agree that if you make dental care fun at home it will be easier for the dentist because kids will not be afraid. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for the help on how to make the dentist a more enjoyable experience for the kids. It is about that time of year to get our annual cleanings and the are actually excited. They love our dentist and he always gives them rewards for being good. He is really smart for helping them have a good time at his office.