1. Give them a focus point

For many young children the dentist can be a pretty boring place. Giving your child a focus point will encourage them to engage with something that isn’t just the dental clinic. For example, visiting the dentist should not be their main focus but rather the toys that the dentists provide for them to have fun. In most dental surgeries there will a section with toys, books and games to provide entertainment.

If your child knows they will have fun by playing at the surgery then they will focus on this rather than on the dental visit itself.

2. Stickers and bravery

Let your child know that if they’re brave enough to see the dentist they are fantastic! It requires a lot of courage for little ones to visit us and we know that. Tell your children they will get a big sticker for being brave and sitting in the dentist chair. We are aware that children can be irate, scared or un-cooperative and that is ok. Don’t feel that your child is the only child that doesn’t want to visit the dentist because they definitely are not!

3. Story telling

Try to tell your child a funny story about dentists or even better, ask your dentist to tell your child a funny story. Quite often, changing your child’s opinion of a dentist can be done as simply as telling them a joke or a story that will make them laugh. The dentist will ensure that they can do everything in their power to make your child’s experience comfortable.

4. Reassure them

Not every dental visit will result in some kind of procedure. We treat a general check-up as importantly as we treat any mouth surgery. A regular check-up is important because it allows the dentist to assess the state of the mouth and the teeth. If any work needs to be carried out then you will know in enough time to plan for it. Reassurance is always key. The tools that the dentist use can look a little bit frightening in which case you can try a simple trick like telling your child to close their eyes. We know that it can be an unpleasant experience and sometimes our tools will feel uncomfortable. It’s just about reassuring the child that it’s uncomfortable for a good reason. It means they will have great teeth!

5. Play with other children

You may encounter some visits where there are other children in the clinic. Encourage your child to play with other children (there should be a little play area) and hopefully that will take the focus off the actual appointment. Most parents are in the same boat when it comes to making appointments so just try talking to each other – you could gain some valuable insight!

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