As adults, we can regularly get teeth whitening services to keep our smiles attractive. But it’s a lot different when you have kids who need to visit a dental clinic for the first time.
Understandably, some nervousness and even fear might be in the equation. That’s why today’s post is all about how to get kids ready for a dentist visit.
Choose a good paediatric dentist
Just like choosing a paediatrician to take care of your child’s health, you’ll need to select an age-appropriate dentist who knows how to handle very young children. Luckily, there are plenty of kids’ dentists in Singapore that can make that first visit a worry-free (and even a happy) one.
So yes, you’ll need to do some research so you can take your kids to the right dentist. Keep in mind that they’ll be the front liners when it comes to your children’s oral health.
You can ask trusted friends and relatives for referrals, or see if your dental insurance policy has recommendations for paediatric dentists.
Tell your kids what to expect
The best dental clinics for kids are equipped with decorations, toys, and informative materials to help kids be at ease every time they visit. But first-time visitors might be too worried to take anything in especially if they don’t know what to expect.
So consider it your job as a parent to get them ready for their dentist visit. Explain why brushing their teeth isn’t enough and how teeth, like any part of the body, need to be cared for by a doctor.
Don’t use scary and complicated terms that will leave them confused or terrified. Even when talking about the possibility of getting braces, always mention the positive things that will come with them (mentioning people they admire that have braces is a good idea).
Allow your kid to take their favourite toy or book with them
For very young kids, fear of the unknown is real. So bringing something familiar into an unfamiliar situation might help calm them or make them feel less scared.
If your child has a favourite toy, gaming device, book, or even a blanket, allow them to bring it with you to the dentist. This can serve as their anchor that the apprehensive feeling will be temporary and that they can go back to enjoying their toys and games soon.
Some dental clinics also come equipped with interactive tablets to play games with, draw on, or distract young patients with cartoons and informative shows.
Let the dentist talk to your child
Sometimes, all it needs to break the ice between your kids and their future dentist is to have a little conversation before the checkup or procedure. See if your paediatric dentist does this, and request a little pre-dental chat with your little one.
For instance, they can start with the different kinds of foods your dentist doesn’t want you to eat and explain why this is so. Or they could point out the worst drinks for their teeth using humorous visuals and stories.
You and the dentist can help explain basic teeth health care in a positive way that won’t leave your child with negative associations with dental clinic visits. And when you’re explaining stuff, make the terms age-appropriate (because nothing is worse than hearing words that sound big and ominous).