Ah summer – school is out, days are long, and you have all the time in the world to get your child caught up with his or her annual physical and dental exams. Maybe going to the pediatrician isn’t a chore, especially if no vaccines are needed, but the dentist? Going to the dentist is usually much harder for a child. Unlike going to the pediatrician, your child hasn’t been seeing the same person since birth, and the unknown of having some stranger poking around in his or her mouth can be pretty scary. Here are some tips to make that first trip to the dentist a bit easier:
- Be positive! For some reason, fear of the dentist is common among children and adults. Make sure your child knows that this is someone who is just taking care of another part of him/her. You might remind your child that the pediatrician says “stick out your tongue and say ah” and the dentist will look at the rest of your child’s mouth.
- Be prepared! Make it educational and show your kids pictures of their teeth and mouth and show them what the dentist is going to do, like counting teeth. You might find a helpful book or video at the library.
- Be proactive! Make sure your child knows about brushing his/her teeth, flossing and using his/her Tung Brush and Gel. Good oral hygiene will help ensure a positive experience at the dentist.
- Be supportive! If your child is really fearful, let him/her take a favorite stuffed animal to hold.
- Be honest! Tell your child that the dentist and hygienist are there to be sure that your child has healthy teeth, but that they are also there to answer any questions your child might have, so encourage him/her to ask about anything that comes to mind and remind your child that no question is a silly question. Also, be honest with the dentist and hygienist – make them aware if your child is overly fearful, as they have the experience to help kids through the process too!
Going to the dentist is part of an overall oral hygiene routine that will be important for your child’s ongoing health and well-being. We at Tung Brush and Gel want it to be a good experience in order to ensure that your child continues his or her regular visits throughout life.
And, don’t forget, a great sugar-free treat after the visit is always in order!