10 tips to help make your trips the dentist a little less painful!
1. Talk about it ahead of time. Tell them about what will happen so you can manage their expectations. Call your dentist, they may also have tips.
2. Let them pick out their own tooth brushes to help motivate them to brush (Jack has a Dora toothbrush and Molly has a Cinderella one) - Confession of the day They will not always be motivated to brush their teeth- Molly had a huge tantrum this morning because I made her brush her teeth (i.e. put her in a head lock and brushed her teeth myself while she cried about what a mean mommy I am).
3. Read stories about going to the dentist to manage expectations, I have been told that Dora the Explorer, Show Me Your Smile is a great book to help them mentally prepare for the trip.
4. Play dentist at home. That way they can practice ahead of time and understand that they need to hold their mouth open for more than the three seconds they do at the Doctors when they say Ahh.
5. Bring a support team, as always I am a huge fan of the adults outnumbering the children in new and uncontrolled environments. At the very least they can take photos when things go sideways.
7. Let them ask questions and have your dentist show them how things work.
8. Make it short and sweet. And even if it is not a success repeat the experience in six months. The more exposure they have the easier it will be the next time.
9. Reward them for a job well done with a special treat (a lot of dentists may already have sticker books and prizes for kids).
10. Schedule the trip for their best behaved time of day. Our hygienist said that kids and mornings usually work best.
To read some basics on early tooth care click here