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My youngest loves the dentist but my older one is very much like me; has no reason to be scared but isn’t a fan of the unknown and can tell he is a little anxious the minute he gets in the chair. He’s not scared, refuses to go or doesn’t cooperate but the dentist does need to break every now and then for him to take a breath and relax. Today I’m sharing with you 7 ways to prepare your child for the dentist.
Book yourself in at the same time and you go first
Show them there’s nothing to be scared of and remember to stay positive! Even if you’re nervous yourself try your hardest to NOT show it – your dentist will know if you or your children are a little anxious without you telling them. If they don’t then you want another dentist!
Sit small children on your knee while you are being seen to
The dentist can sometimes look at theirs whilst they are sat there and its not as scary as being in the big chair. Some children like it and might want to… mine likes to slide down when she’s finished! Just let them do what they want to do to make them comfortable.
In the build up don’t make it a big issue.
Just keep as relaxed and things as normal as possible. If you fuss or make it a big issue they will start to wonder if it’s something they should be worried about or overthink things. Just mention in conversation that next week they are going to dentist or that a doctor is going to look at their teeth if that makes more sense to them if they are too small to understand.
Ensure the chid that initially seems most scared DOESN’T go first.
Chances are if you have multiple children you will be taking them all together. Let the one that’s even just a little bit more confident sit in the big cool moving chair first. Should the confident one sees a negative reaction from the other they may start to worry and wonder if there’s something they too should be scared of.
Play dentist before you go
Do pretty much what the dentist will do so they know exactly what to expect and let them do it to you! In the build up when they/you brush their teeth is a great opportunity to role play being at a dentist.
That’s not going to help anyone and little one will remember and associate the dentist with something to play up to because they get a treat.
Reward AFTER the check up
My dentist when I was younger used to give me a sticker every time I went; it was more than enough. I did it!
If you got value out of my 7 ways to prepare your child for the dentist or feel someone else may benefit then feel free to share!
Thanks for reading!