You Can Get Your Child Excited About Visiting the Dentist

As a parent, you know how important it is to set a healthy, strong foundation for your little one. From the foods they eat to their nighttime routine, the habits they learn at an early age can help them develop and grow. As your trusted dental team, we also want them to love visiting the dentist, right from the very beginning!

Today, we’re sharing a quick guide to help ease any anxieties your child might have about their upcoming appointment. When you approach this step together, you can help calm their nerves and make this experience one to look forward to.

1. Prepare Ahead of Time for Visiting the Dentist

Both children and adults can be apprehensive about a new situation, especially if it’s in an unfamiliar environment. This is why it helps to prepare your child ahead of time. 

Explain what they can expect when they come in for their first visit to the kids’ dentist, using easy terms they can understand. Of course, it’s often easier to show than tell! Feel free to schedule an office tour, where your child can meet our team, walk through treatment areas, and learn more about what we do.

During this time, you can also ask any questions that you or your child might have. This way, the first visit will feel as comfortable and familiar as possible. 

2. Read Books on Visiting the Dentist

Storytime is a great way to introduce your children to new ideas and experiences. You can find stories that touch beautifully on all kinds of themes, including going to the dentist!

If your little one has a favorite cartoon character, check to see if there’s a book about that character visiting the dentist. This can help them understand the concept, and get them excited about following in their famous footsteps!

From Peppa Pig to Llama Llama, this list includes plenty of kid-friendly figures going on lots of dental adventures, from first dental appointments to that coveted first visit from the Tooth Fairy!

3. Talk Enthusiastically About Visiting the Dentist

We don’t have to tell you that kids love to emulate their parents. If your little mini-me hears you talking excitedly about the visit, chances are they’ll follow suit. 

Try to keep the vibe upbeat and positive, whether they’re going in for a preventative cleaning, a filling, or any other kind of treatment. The more they hear you talking up the visit, the more excited they’ll become. 

Want to go the extra mile? When it’s your turn to visit us, make sure your child overhears you talking about how excited you are! This is one of those times when you’ll welcome their instinct to imitate!

4. Make it a Fun Day Out

If time allows, consider turning their dental visit into a longer excursion! This time together is a great opportunity to bond and make memories with your child. 

Plan a quick trip to their favorite store afterward, or take a walk around a local park. You can also check out the nearest playground and let them smile bright as they swing and slide! If you’re looking for a no-cost treat that kids love, then visit a pet store nearby and have fun saying hello to all the furry friends!

You can also reward them with a special treat, though it’s best to stick to sugar-free goodies right after a visit to our office! Take a trip to your local bargain store and stock up on stickers, coloring books, crayons, and play dough so you always have a fun surprise handy.

5. Bring Comfort Items

As family dentists, we know how important loveys, stuffed animals, and other comforting items can be to our littlest patients. That’s why our team doesn’t bat an eye when we see them in the chair!

Feel free to allow your child to bring in a soft item that makes them feel more at home. It’s a small gesture that can make a major difference. Before long, they might feel comfortable enough to make the trip without their buddy.

While you’re planning what to pack, don’t forget to bring along fun activities for the car ride there!

From audiobooks and race cars to puzzle toys and building blocks, there are plenty of fun items that travel well. These can help ease your child’s mind and relax them en route. Check out this guide for inspiration!

6. Watch Inspiring Videos

Sometimes, kids can grasp a concept quicker if they see it in action, rather than just hearing or reading about it. If your child is more of a visual learner, consider finding some educational videos on their level.

YouTube can be an excellent resource for this, as long as you stick to credible resources. Start with this animated video from SciKids, which explains why it’s important for everyone to brush their teeth! Filled with bold colors and devoid of jargon, it’s an accessible and simple way to dive into the concept of dental health. 

If you can’t find their favorite TV character in a book, a video might just do the trick; for instance, here’s one all about Daniel Tiger getting his teeth cleaned!

Visiting the dentist can be fun!

We’re obviously enthusiastic about dental care, but we know that our tiniest visitors might not be there quite yet. We understand, and our team is here to help make this big-kid transition as easy as possible.

With the right preparation, you can help your child understand that visiting the dentist isn’t something to fear. In fact, it can actually be fun! The 6 steps above can help get everyone ready for the big day, and set the stage for years of happy visits.

Looking for a family dentist in Granite City, IL? We’d love to be that home for your crew. When you’re ready to make an appointment, we make it easy to submit a request online!