Although you may have done your best to prepare your child for a dental appointment, sometimes things don’t go as planned. They may have been scared by some of the machinery, with the loud whirring sounds. Or perhaps when the childrens dentist in Vancouver was examining their teeth, there was much discomfort from leaving their mouth open for a long time. Whatever happened, your child is now extremely hesitant to go, but its been six months since the last visit to the dentist, and it’s time to go soon. What can you do to support your child, and encourage them to go?
Keep it Simple
When you’re preparing them the day before the appointment, keep the information simple, and answer any questions they may have. Going too into detail (for example, talking about cavities and fillings) may lead to more anxiety and stress for your child, which will then produce more fear in them. Also, avoid using phrases like “Everything will be just fine!” as sometimes this is not the case, and the child will learn not to trust what you say if the need to have an extra procedure on top of the cleaning.
Watch Your Words
When you’re speaking with your child, avoid using words that are associated with pain, like shot or hurt. As the staff at the practice are professionals, they will use their own type of vocabulary to describe to the child what the procedure will be like. Stick to positive words, and enforce the idea of having a clean and healthy smile.
If the child is still nervous about an impending visit to the Vancouver pediatric dentist, consider doing something that almost all children love to do: pretend play! By imagining what a dental visit would look like, you are turning the whole experience into a game rather than a forced appointment. Try to incorporate a toothbrush into the scenario, and for fun, switch roles! At first, let the child be the child, and you can be the dentist, but after a while let the child pretend to be the dentist as well! This will be sure to minimize any scary preconceptions that your child may have, and allow them to have more fun and be more relaxed when it’s time to see the dentist.
Overall, a visit to the dentist shouldn’t be something scary, but should be part of the process of your child learning about how to take care of their teeth and gums. Teaching them early on will set them up for a lifetime of healthy living.