5 Ways to Prepare Your Child for a Trip to the Dentist

5 Ways to Prepare Your Child for a Trip to the Dentist

A trip to the dentist's office is not usually a pleasant one or one to look forward to for many children and even adults. It is associated with pain, but preparing your child well for the first visit may ease the anxiety and help them enjoy the trip. Here are tips to help you make a dentist's visit less stressful.

Let the Child Know About the Trip

Don't wait until the last day or when you are at the dentist's office to tell the child why you are there. Calmly talk to her about the trip and highlight why it's essential to have her teeth checked.

Let her know it's not going to be uncomfortable or painful, and the dentist will make sure she is okay. However, even before you arrange the trip, make sure you have a professional dental services provider you can wholly depend on.

Make Sure the Child Is Well-Rested

A day to the trip, try to keep the child calm and well-rested. Let her go to bed early and make sure she has a good night's sleep. You may want to talk about the trip and assure her again that it will be fun. Remind her why professional dental care and brushing teeth are crucial. 

Always schedule the appointment when your child is healthy and at a time of the day when she is less tired or anxious. Probably after an afternoon nap or early in the morning after a good night's sleep.

Bring Favourite Toys or a Book to Read During the Visit 

Bringing your child's favourite toys to a dentist's appointment can help her feel more comfortable. Get an age-appropriate book she likes or will find interesting.  Find her enough distractions to keep her busy and entertained, and comfortable making her less anxious or stressed. You'll also have an easier time controlling her. 

Use distractions such as music, television, and videos when needed. If you arrive earlier, games and videos will keep the child busy as you wait for the dentist. 

Bring Healthy Snacks for After Treatment 

Something sweet like fruit or chocolate will make her feel better. Your child might get hungry or thirsty, and it's essential to have something she can snack on as you wait for the dentist or after the visit. Favourite but healthy snacks may help keep her calm.

Stay by Her Side All Through

When you're with your child, she will feel less anxious and more in control. Your presence is comforting, so don't leave her in the waiting room or exam area unless necessary. You can hold her hand or massage her feet and assuredly talk to her as the dentist examines the teeth. 

If bringing other children along, make sure they know what to expect before arrival. If other children, especially older ones, are anxious or afraid, it will affect her mood.

Even after the appointment, talk positively about the experience and the dentist. Most dentists try to make the visit brief and fun to encourage children to come back for their next appointment. 

With time, she will get used to the visits and even look forward to the trip. Reward her for good behaviour after the trip.