Teach your kids what happens at the dentist by acting it out with their stuffed animals. You can also let stuffed animals be a part of daily tooth brushing and flossing. If you bring the same stuffed critter when you visit the dentist, it can help ease the journey from make-believe to reality.
Sudden news can be stressful for kids. Talk about the visit leading up to it so that they aren’t surprised and don’t feel overwhelmed. Keep the upcoming dentist visit positive by letting your child know about it in advance and talking to them about their questions. You can also let them know how important it is for them to take care of their teeth. Make a list of any questions you can’t answer yourself and bring it with you so the dentist can answer your child’s questions directly.
If your kids don’t want to take your word for it, let books convince them. Head to your local library and check out a few kid’s books about the dentist. You may even recognize some from when you were a kid.
If you or a family member has an upcoming dentist appointment, let your child tag along. That will let them get familiar with the sights and sounds. This can help take away some of the mystery and let them form their own impression of what to expect when it’s their turn.
The sooner your child can go to the dentist, the more comfortable they’ll become with the routine. And remember that everyone at the dentist’s office will want to make the visit as easy and productive as possible. You’re not alone in this.