How to Make Dental Visits Bearable for Your Child

A boys is having his teeth examinedWhen is the best time to bring your child to the dentist? The American Dental Association recommends that parents must schedule a dental appointment within six months after the first baby tooth comes out, so make sure to see a reliable kids dentist in Lehi no later than your child’s first birthday.

Though the first visit will not require much work, its purpose is to help your child feel comfortable and safe in a dental clinic, which is why it is very important to start early.

But as your child grows, he or she must visit the dentist regularly to check teeth development and prevent potential problems. So how do you make future dental visits something your child will look forward to?

Be positive

Expect a lot of questions from your child but remember not to be too detailed when you answer. Stay positive and manage expectations to prevent anxiety. Don’t say things like, “everything will be okay” because a treatment might be necessary and you do not want your child to lose his or her trust in you or the dentist. Avoid words such as “pain” or “hurt.” Instead, use positive words like “clean” and “healthy teeth.”

Don’t bribe

You might be tempted to say things to your child like, “if you don’t cry, you get to eat candy.” Avoid this because it might trigger the thought that something bad will indeed happen. Also, allowing your child to eat candy after a dental treatment negates the advice of the dentist to keep the teeth healthy by avoiding sugary treats. If you want to encourage, give a small toy instead.

Educate

Though it is important to watch the words you use, remember that it still pays to educate your child about oral hygiene. Emphasize the importance of dental visits to keep the teeth strong and maintain a beautiful smile.