Schedule A Win
One of the biggest factors that affect the success of a child’s dental appointment is the choice of appointment time. We recommend that parents select a time that their child is well-rested, not hungry, and as relaxed as possible. For most children under 10, the best timeframe is in the morning. Understandably, many parents want to schedule an appointment that doesn’t conflict with school or other activities. Nonetheless, we encourage parents to choose appointment times that set their child up for a win!
Review & Remind
Most parents will attest that their children are more comfortable in unfamiliar situations when they know what to expect. Just because a child has visited the dentist in the past doesn’t mean they will remember the experience. There are many children’s books and videos that describe the dental check-up in simple terms that relieve some apprehension of the unknown or forgotten, and we recommend you incorporate those fun visual reminders as you discuss their upcoming dental appointment.
Watch Your Words
It is incredibly important that conversation about dental appointments be positive, casual, and health-oriented. Modeling a healthy outlook towards dental treatment will influence a healthy outlook for your child. Use statements that express positive reinforcement such as, “It will be great to see the dentist! You’ll have clean teeth, and the dentist will make sure your teeth are healthy and strong!”
Too many times, underlying fears that a parent may have about the dentist are subconsciously expressed to their child. Whether toddlers or teenagers, most kids are negatively affected by fear-based, punitive statements, even when the parent is trying to make a joke.
We hope you will find that by following these suggestions, you will be able to prep your child— and yourself— for winning experiences at every dental appointment!
Twin Boy Mom
Tebo The Tooth’s #1 Fan