Whether your child is visiting a pediatric dentist for the first time, or if it is a repeat visit, it is a good idea to spend a little time at home to help your child mentally prepare for the visit. Many times parents don’t realize that a visit with the dentist can be a stressful appointment for a young child, which is why you should proactively work to help them prepare. There are several things that you can do to help your child be ready for their visit with a pediatric dentist in San Diego.
Use Positive Language
One of the biggest mistakes that parents make with their child is to talk about the dental appointment in a negative way. Children are very perceptive about the emotions and attitudes that parents share when they are talking, and they will pick up on your attitudes about the dentist. Even if you have a fear or dislike of dental appointments, don’t pass that fear along to your child.
Instead of talking about being scared of the dentist, talk with your child about how the dental office is a great place to visit because the dentist will make sure that every tooth is healthy. Don’t use words such as “drilling,” “pain,” or any other dental language that might be construed the wrong way. You should talk about the experience in a positive manner, which will allow your child to see that a dental appointment is a good thing.
Play Games Together
If your child is young, you can play games together to help them to become more comfortable with people looking in their mouth. Consider this thought: if your child has never opened their mouth for their parents to look inside, will they be likely to open their mouth for a stranger to look inside? In the moment, it may feel like a scary thing to simply open their mouth and let someone touch their teeth, which is why you should play games to help them become accustomed to the idea.
Start out by opening your mouth, and let your child look inside at your teeth. Encourage the child to find your tongue, the top of your mouth, and to count all of the teeth that they can see. Then, trade places and have them open their mouth so that you can count their teeth. Talk with them and make a fun game out of the activity.
This simple process of role playing or creating a game out of looking in their mouth can make them more comfortable with the idea of allowing a dentist to look at their teeth. Even though it seems like a silly game, it can make a big difference in the way the child cooperates when they are in the dental chair.
These two steps can help you to be more proactive at home, in order to help your child to feel more comfortable when they visit a pediatric dentist in San Diego. Call us at Children’s Dentistry of San Diego to schedule an appointment: (858) 536-1111