Preparation is key.

Children aren’t always excited about their next visit to the dentist. But by taking a deliberate approach to how you prepare your child for a visit to the dentist, you can make complete family dental care in Miami Valley, OH, much more comfortable.

There are ten ways you can make going to the dentist a pleasant experience that your child can even look forward to.

1. Be smart with your language.

It’s important to discuss what’s going to happen during your child’s dentist visit; it will prepare and calm them. However, you also need to be careful about what kind of language you use.

Terms like “shot” and “drill” can seem intimidating. Opt for phrases like “little poke” instead. Keep in mind that your child is hearing all this from you first, so assurances about treatments not hurting could be what introduces worry in the first place.

2. Try fun dental activities and games.

You can make your child more eager to visit the dentist by letting them learn about dental care through a variety of activities and games. There are many options, whether through conventional arts and crafts or the latest apps on your phone.

Depending on your child’s age, playing dentist with one of their toys could be a helpful experience. Laying a doll or stuffed animal down in a chair and “looking at their teeth” can familiarize your child with the concept of a dental visit.

3. Address your own anxiety.

During your child’s dental visit, you have both your child’s and your own anxiety to deal with. Many parents overlook how stressful the experience can be for themselves, and that doesn’t help anyone.

Staying calm is one of the best things you can do for your child. Children look at the behavior of their parents to understand what they should and shouldn’t be worried about, so treating a dentist visit like a routine and benign occurrence is highly effective.

4. Discuss dentist visits with books.

Children love stories and learn so much from what they read and what their parents read to them. There are many books about dental topics available today that can serve as an important foundation for discussing visiting the dentist with your child.

Many of the stories focus on a child who is going to the dentist and walks them through the process, showing them that everything is fine. You can find great books about your child’s development as well—everything from lost teeth to braces.

5. Keep up with oral hygiene at home.

There’s more to your child’s oral care than just a dentist visit in Middletown. What they do at home is just as important and can help make dental visits go much more smoothly.

Ensuring that your child is brushing and flossing properly reduces the risk of issues like tooth decay. It can also help with sensitivity and provides a good foundation for oral health. This means that your child is less likely to need fillings and other procedures that can be more intimidating.

6. Plan a fun day around the visit.

One easy way to get your child excited about the dentist is to make the visit part of a larger plan. Make it just another part of a day that your child is already looking forward to. Whether that’s visiting a park or playground or trying other great local activities, your child will focus more on that than the dentist visit.

7. Choose a time of day when your child is in a good mood.

If you know your child is generally tired, cranky, or upset at certain times of the day, it’s best not to schedule your child’s dentist visit during those times. This can often mean avoiding early or late appointments, or appointments close to scheduled nap times.

8. Educate and entertain with cartoons.

Does your child have a favorite cartoon? Depending on their age, there’s a decent chance that one of your child’s favorite characters has been featured in an episode about a visit to the dentist that will both educate and entertain your child. Peppa Pig has a great episode about going to the dentist that will make you and your child feel better about going to the dentist.

9. Don’t miss regular appointments.

In general, children should have regular exams and dental cleaning every six months. Keeping up with these appointments makes going to the dentist a routine that children are familiar with. If your child goes longer without a kid’s dentist visit, it can make a going to the dentist seem unfamiliar and frightening.

10. Find a dentist who knows how to handle children.

To ensure that your children are eager to visit the dentist, you will want to find a dentist who can work with children and provide them with the right patient experience. Children have different dental needs compared to adults, and a dentist with experience working with children can anticipate those needs and respond accordingly.

Dr. Steven A. Lang provides complete family dental care in Miami Valley, OH, for patients of all ages. He and his staff provide the warm and welcoming atmosphere your child needs. Reach out today to book your appointment.