Which trip would you have an easier time announcing to your kids: a theme park or the dentist? We bet we know the answer.
Parents play an important role in how kids react to a dental visit. If you’re negative about the experience, kids are more likely to react the same way.
Though it’s no roller coaster, many dentist offices have children’s toys and reading material to help keep kids occupied while waiting. Keep it positive, parents! Make a cleaning as exciting as a merry-go ride. Use interesting information to “trick” kids.
Here are 3 ways to make a dental visit go from “meh” to magic:
• Prepare with role play.
Though we won’t advocate bribery, we do think a new educational toy is perfectly acceptable. Children love role-play, and there are tons of dental toys and kits that teach kids about the checkup experience.
“Playing dentist” will help kids feel more comfortable during their appointment. If you don’t want to buy a toy, fast track your tot to a DDS degree! Let a favorite stuffed animal play “patient,” while your child takes center stage as the dentist.
• Promise entertainment (and education!)
Read to your child while waiting for their dental appointment! We recommend these books about visiting the dentist and about tooth care. Such topics will help explain the importance of their visit and help them be more comfortable.
• Make it part of a play date.
Instead of taking your little one to the dentist solo, team up with a pal for a play date. Invite the playmate and parent for a meal out and then head to the appointment together. Not only is it more fun with a friend, kids feel less stressed when facing situations with a friend, according to a Children’s Hospital study. The best part about this kind of play date? You have someone to visit with after you’ve paged through all the magazines in the waiting room.
Get on it! Schedule your kids’ dentist appointments prepare to give Mickey & Minnie a run for their money.