February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, making it the perfect time to bring your kiddos into the office for a checkup! We have both good and bad news to share…
The bad news: the dentist is a new or unfamiliar situation, and can cause a little…trepidation in some kids.
The good news: there are some very simple steps you can take to prepare your child for the dreaded dental visit!
Here are some easy steps to help you along the way:
- The first visit. Most kids cut all their baby teeth by the time they’re two and a half to three years old. This is huge in helping you decide on when to take your kid to the dentist for the first time. Just remember that familiarizing your child with the dentist and dental procedures at a young age will only help to encourage your child! Most pediatric dentists specialize in dealing with first-time dental visits, which will help you out immensely!
- Time is essence. A good rule of thumb is to set aside 45 minutes to an hour for the actual visit, plus travel time to and from. If it’s a first appointment, arriving early to fill out new patient forms is important!
- The car ride. On the drive, you can talk with your child about the upcoming visit—keep your explanations simple and your reassurances genuine! Try to avoid words and phrases like “hurt” and “pain,” even if they’re tossed into sentences like “it’ll only hurt a little!” Let the dental staff worry about introducing their own vocabulary.
- The arrival. Once you get there, introduce your child to the dentist like an old friend—this will help your child trust the dentist more readily. Hudec Dental will have toys, puppets and fun ways of explaining how to brush and floss, as well as explaining everything they’ll be doing that day. Keeping your child informed and aware of everything that’s going to happen will make the trip a lot less scary!
- Incentivize. Hudec Dental offices have a prize box where your child can select a little toy at the end of the visit—remind them that if they’re good, they’ll get to visit the prize box!
- Be a role model. And above all, your child takes their cues from you—if you’re calm and collected, they will be too! Bring your child to your own visits and let them sit in your lap. Get them familiar with the office and the staff, and make a routine out of it.
The dentist is nothing to be afraid of, and National Children’s Dental Health Month is the perfect time to prove it! Call us today to schedule an appointment at 216-325-9755!