Turn Your Child’s Visit to the Dentist Into an Exciting Adventure
The dentist’s office can be a scary place for anyone, but especially for children. Children can feel powerless sitting in a strange chair with their mouths open, and a dentist’s tools look mysterious. But you can take certain steps to ensure that your own children will have a comfortable visit to the dentist’s office.
To prevent your child from being afraid of the dentist, try to speak about your office visit as an exciting experience. Instead of saying, “Sorry, buddy, we have to visit the dentist today,” you could say, “Guess what? We get to visit the dentist today!” Most people respond well to positive associations, and children are probably more susceptible than anyone else. Hearing the dentist’s office spoken of in such a positive light will help your child to associate that office with positive thoughts, instead of scary ones.
You can also make your visit to the dentist into a larger outing by visiting the zoo or a museum beforehand. Doing this can help to encourage your child to think of a visit to the dentist as a fun excursion, the way he or she might think of going to the zoo. Again, this will encourage your child to think of the dentist’s office in a positive light.
Once you’ve reached the dentist’s office, whether you’re seated in a waiting room or with your child in the examination room, try to act in a calm and relaxed manner. Children have a remarkable ability to sense what their parents are feeling. If you give off an air of tension and stress, your children might sense it and grow tense themselves. On the other hand, if you act content and relaxed, your children will see that there is nothing to fear. You could also invent a game to play with your child during their examination. Ask your child to notice and remember five interesting things during their exam. They can tell you all about their list afterwards.
After you’ve left the dentist’s office, you might also try rewarding your child for their good behavior. Take your child out for a special treat to show them once more that the dentist’s office is surrounded by positive things. Your child will also learn that enduring dreaded experiences can pay off. You might find your child more willing to try other experiences that he or she might have been afraid of before. Visit the dental office in Apex to learn more about what your child can expect from their visit.
Ron has years of experience in the dental world. You can find his thoughts at the floss boss blog on Tumblr.
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