Your kid will need about 10 trips to the dentist before first grade. Seeing the dentist is a regular feature of life for anyone who wants strong healthy teeth, so your kid should get used to it. Making a kid comfortable while a dentist’s drill whirrs away at top speed is not the easiest thing. Some kids burst into tears as soon as the dentist gets out the curved needle. Indeed, making a kid not look to a visit to the dentist with dread and horror is a challenge for many parents.
The earlier the better the kid gets used to the dentist’s room the better. Dr. Rob Andrew says that visits to the dentists should ideally start at age one. All dental needs including preventive visits should be done by a dentist. This will make the kid comfortable having the dentist poke around now and then.
Comfort the kid during the first visit and hype up the visit. Prepare the kid to be a bit uncomfortable by telling him it’s just like you doing the checkup on the teeth, only which this time Uncle John needs to have a closer look with a torch and a weird spoon. Have the child look to the dentist like a friendly figure.
Make it fun
You can prep your kid by playing dentist yourself. Get the child comfortable with you looking into his mouth. Use simple dental illustrations to explain teeth and how brushing is done properly. Books like Behold! No Cavities! A Visit to the Dentist (SpongeBob Squarepants) by Nickelodeon can be a great help. A mirror is very useful for the child to see what you are trying to explain. Have him repeat what you do with a doll. Explain the dentist will be playing the same game but with some tools that helps him.
Consider a child specialist
Some dental clinics attend to more kids than the average. Urban Smiles Family Dental clinic is child friendly and the dentists have good experience with children. A dentist who has dealt with different kids will be able to put a kid better at ease for the experience.
Be a role model
If you need a visit to the dentist, take the kid with you and have him at least see the preliminary checkups. If you are at ease and come away looking like everything is normal, the kid could be even interested to try it. Explain that the dentist ensures the teeth are healthy to make people continue enjoying all the sweet things.