How can I prepare my child for their visit to the dentist?
Begin talking to children about their appointment as soon as you can. The earlier you can talk to them about their visit, the more comfortable they’ll feel.
Here are some ideas for helping them prepare for their visit:
Many children love to play dentist, and this is a great time to introduce a “practice visit” to them. Go through the steps of having them sit in the chair, lean back, open their mouth and hold it open, and practice sitting still for the dentist. Tell them what’s happening at each step, and what they might see, feel, and hear.
If your child is scared or uncomfortable, be sure to comfort them by reassuring them that you’ll be there with them during their appointment. You can also bring a comforting item from home, like a toy, stuffed animal, blanket, or something special to the child.
Your local library, YouTube, and other websites also have educational resources like books and videos on visiting the dentist and are great tools for helping prepare children for their appointment.
Lastly, you can be a great role model for them by demonstrating good eating and oral health habits. Parents can even take their children to their own dentist appointments and show them what happens. Remember, your own attitude and fears of the dentist can have a great influence on your children, so be aware that everything you do—from talking about the dentist to taking care of your own teeth—will be absorbed by your child.