My most fond memory of kindergarten was making a cool hand print impression in the clay and throughout school being able to put my hand in it and watching the hole get smaller as my hand got bigger. We all have favorite memories from early school and remember learning things that were mind boggling at the time. But I don’t remember things like setting up dentist appointments or doctor appointments because it wasn’t important to me. Luckily that’s why we have guardians to look after us! Moms, more like superheroes!
With school right around the corner; it’s important to check-up on our kid’s oral health before the school year. It’s one less thing you have to worry about, and it’s important to know of any oral health problems. It makes the transition to school much easier than most people think. Some risks of not checking before school could be costing you some extra time and money. You will have to take time from work to take your child to the dentist, and your kid will miss class which means they will have to bring home extra homework or miss out on some fun activities!
The following are tips to help your kindergartner have a positive experience at the dentist!
Start Brushing Early
The best thing you can do as a parent is to start developing healthy oral habits as early as possible. Now for some reading this, it may be a problem you face, and for some, it may not be. If you haven’t developed a regular habit of brushing teeth twice a day, today is a great day to start. Because the earlier you start, the easier it will be to see a dentist regularly. And it’s less stressful for your child because you won’t be adding anything additional to their schedule other than a check-up every 6 months!
Talk About the Dentist and Why It’s Important
Something that can really help ease a child at the dentist office is to talk about why it is important. It seems really simple because it is, but sometimes we forget the simple things that help make life easier. When you explain why it’s important for their health, it makes it a lot easier for them to understand the importance of the dentist and they may even be excited to go! But talking to your kid a while before going makes actually going easier and can save you a headache. You can talk about all the cool devices the dentist uses and how the hygienist is going to polish their teeth, try to relate it to positive experiences and going will be a lot easier in the future.
Make it a Positive Experience
On the day of the appointment, try to make it a fun overall experience. Be excited in the morning! If you can connect a great morning singing songs, dancing, eating breakfast together, and tie that to going to the dentist, it will make future appointments a lot easier, and you child may even be excited to go! You should try to avoid words that are scary when talking about the dentist in the morning. Try to avoid words that scare kids like a shot, or hurt or pain. If your child is scared to go to the dentist then getting them to future appointments is going to be even more difficult.
Bring Their Favorite Toy or Blanket
I was really lucky with the dentist I had because at the end of the appointment he had a box of 1$ toys that kids could choose from after the appointment. I loved going to the dentist because I knew that I would get to leave with a new toy or some new trinket. Some dentist offices don’t do that so it may be helpful to bring your kids own toys! They can hold on to their toy in the office to make them feel better, and it’s something that they recognize in an office they have never been to. It can help them feel a bit more at home and can help comfort them when they are scared.
Meet the Dentist Before the Appointment
For kids that are just terrified of going to the dentist, it can be beneficial to let them meet the dentist before the appointment. Meeting the dentist before the appointment helps your child recognize the dentist when they go in for the appointment which can help calm their nerves.
Choose a Pediatric Dentist
Pediatric dentists work with kids on a daily basis, so they are good at helping kids have a positive experience and normally do things that make kids feel more comfortable at their office. They will probably have toys out in the lobby or movies playing that kids love to help them feel more at home. If you are really worried that your child is scared, then consider a pediatric dentist.
I hope some of the tips I have shared are helpful for you!
If you have tried something that has really helped you kid come to the dentist that has worked, please comment so other people know what you did so they can try it!
Thanks for reading!