As a parent, helping your child create positive associations with the dentist is an important step in helping them build healthy habits. By creating positive associations at a young age, your child will be more likely to make daily care and regular checkups a priority. In today’s post, we want to offer four steps that will help your child have a better dental visit, in addition to helping him or her create healthy habits.
Encourage Regular Brushing and Flossing
Your first step should be to help your child learn the importance of daily care. One way you can do this is by demonstrating healthy habits yourself. Why not make brushing and flossing a family activity? There are even specially made toothbrushes that play music to make the experience more fun. Brushing and flossing every day will help your little one have healthy teeth, which will help him or her enjoy better checkups.
Talk to Your Child about What to Expect
If your child is visiting a dentist for the first time, talk to him or her about what to expect. Children are sometimes frightened by new places, sounds, or people. Bringing your child with on you on one of your own appointments can help dispel anxiety and get them accustomed them to the atmosphere of a dental office.
Avoid Scary Words or a Scary Tone
Whether or not your child needs extra care, avoid using words like “pain” or “shot,” and be careful about using your own dental history to relate to your child. Instead, think of ways you can encourage your little one before an appointment. Talk about the positives of having a healthy smile and the ways that dentists can help them improve oral health.
It might be tempting to promise your child a special treat if they make it through their appointment, but this tactic can send the wrong message. Put the focus on good oral hygiene and the importance of a healthy smile instead. Teach them that healthy teeth are a reward in and of themselves.
Do you want to schedule an appointment for your child? Give your local family dentist a call today.