If your child has a tooth, it’s time to visit the dentist! At Docklands Dental Studio, our team loves children, as well as parents. We want to help you create a great dental-visit experience for your child so that he enjoys coming to our office and taking great care of his teeth at home.
How to Listen, When to Talk
Effectively communicating with kids isn’t difficult, but it also isn’t like talking to an adult. Experts agree, when planning a talk with your child, choose the time of day when the child is most calm, alert, and in a situation conducive to conversation. Put away your cell phone and toys, turn off the television and computer, and focus solely on your little one.
Speak Their Language
First, get eye to eye. Either sit on the floor with your child or let him sit in your lap to have a discussion. Smile. Tickle. Laugh. Give him your full attention, and ask him to give you his. Then explain that you have some important news about a big-boy (or girl) adventure that the two of you are going to take together.
Do not start with a question, but instead, let your child know that you’ve been thinking about how he’s growing and the importance of growing up strong and healthy. If your child has something to interject, let him. Don’t interrupt, but do keep on topic as much as possible.
The following lists can help you find the right language to talk with your child about an upcoming dental visit.
Words to Use
Going to the dentist is: Fun, Exciting, Adventure, Important, Healthy
Words Not to Use
Scary, Be quiet, Hurt, Pain, Drill, Shots, Cavities, Boring
Do not share negative experiences. Do not use negative words. Keep your tone and facial expression light and positive. Once you’ve let your child know that the two of you will be visiting the dentist, ask how he feels about it. Listen intently to his response and address any concerns with a smile and uplifting words. Then, do something fun, yet related!
Explore and Prepare
After initiating a conversation about visiting the dentist, follow up by showing your child pictures of the dentist and dental office. The docklandsdentalstudio.com website has many bright, cheery pictures of our office and staff. Tell your child the names of the dentist and assistant, and explain that these are family friends who help us keep your mouths healthy and clean.
Also, take a trip to the dental products aisle of your supermarket or pharmacy, with your child. Let him select a new toothbrush, toothpaste, and handheld flossers. Children under three should use unfluoridated toothpaste; those over three need toothpaste with fluoride. A flavorful mouthwash can add a special treat and extra measure of protection against tooth decay.
At home, show your child how to use the new products – he may already know! Remember, your little one will need your help reaching back teeth and properly flossing. Brush together for two minutes before bed every evening.
There are many games and activities you can incorporate into your week, prior to (and following) your child’s dental visit. Find the free Colgate app called Tooth-Fairy by MagiClick Dental Solutions on your phone, and teach your child how to play the bacteria-battling games. Online, visit SesameStreet.org’s Healthy Teeth, Healthy Me page to find printables, games, videos, and other educational activities for preschoolers.
Find a Kids’ Dentist
One of the most important parts of a child’s dental care is having the right dentist. You need someone who enjoys teaching and caring for children, as well as partnering with parents to create a united, loving team that has the child’s best interests at heart. At Docklands Dental Studio, you’ll find the caregivers you and your family need. We are gladly accepting new patients of all ages, so call today to schedule dental checkups for the smiles you love most!
For more information on how to take care of your child’s dental health, visit RaisingChildren.Net/AU.