As dentists, we understand that we chose a profession that is not anyone's favorite task to complete. Dentistry got a bad rap from the good old days when there was no relief for the pain our procedures caused. But those days are long over. Now we can perform most procedures with a minimum amount of pain.
But if you have children, their perception will be far different from yours. We have funny looking instruments and scary looking instruments. Some children are impressed and curious about the movable light and the x-ray machine. Other children are frightened by these technologies.
The first thing you should remember when you are preparing your child for the appointment, particularly if you are also afraid of the dentist, is to try not to let your fears or anxiety get transmitted to the child. How they will look at a dentist visit will depend a lot on how you treat the visit. If you start off by telling them they have an appointment a few days beforehand, your child will have time to ask questions and get used to the idea.
When you mention it try not to do it with a sense of dread, instead, act like you are excited for them as if it is something you wish you could be doing as well. Another option is to make appointments for you and your child on the same day. That way they will see if you are good with it, they should be too.
What Else Can I Do to Make a Dental Visit Fun?
One thing you should do is let your child bring something with them to the office that will occupy them while they wait. You could bring a handheld video game or children's activity books. That way they can color or work on puzzles or word games while they wait. We won't mind if you bring crayons with you to the office.
Another way to approach it, especially with slightly older children, is to find a website or an app that has a picture of the structure of a tooth. You can then share this with your child and show the child what part of the tooth we will be dealing with. If it is just a cleaning, that would be the enamel and the gums.
You may want to pair the dentist's visit with a treat of some kind, such as going to a new playground or getting ice cream. In other words, plan an activity that you can't share often to make it a special event and give them something to look forward to.
If you need other ideas, give us a call. We'll be happy to offer suggestions.
At The Elmwood Dental Group LLC, our office is both parking and wheel chair accessible.