My Kids Don't Like Going To The Dentist - What Do I Do?

Kids of all ages may fuss and put up a fight when it’s time to go to the dentist. How can you overcome this and make sure they have a good experience? Here are a few tips from the office of Dr. Patrick Stuckey.

Toddlers & Infants

At this age, the most important thing you can do is teach your child a bit about how dentistry works, and use positive language. Never use words like “hurt” or “shot,” and maintain a positive attitude about your child’s visit. Kids can sense your fear, anxiety, and nervousness, and it will make them feel more scared about their visit.

So take some time to “practice” a dental visit on a stuffed animal, watch some kid-friendly videos about dental visits, and read children’s books about the importance of dentistry. Teach your kids a little bit about dentistry and why it matters, and let a family dentist like Dr. Patrick Stuckey take things from there.

Older Kids

For kids who are older (3-10), the above strategies for toddlers & infants are equally applicable, though you’ll need to adjust based on how old and mature they are.

In addition, older children tend to respond very well to rewards. It can be helpful to promise your child a simple treat like a Happy Meal, a trip to the playground, or a new toy after their six-month visit. Importantly, though, you should never make this reward based on “good behavior.” 

If your child thinks they’ll miss out on a reward if they misbehave, accidentally cry, or feel scared or stressed during their appointment, this will only make things worse. So promise your kid a treat or reward, and follow through even if their appointment doesn’t go the way you’d prefer. 

Pre-Teens & Teenagers

The best way to make sure pre-teens and teenagers don’t mind going to the dentist is to start them early! If your kids have been seeing the dentist since they were too young to even remember it, they’re not likely to mind going once they’re older.

But if you have a pre-teen or teenager and they don’t like going to the dentist or refuse to go, the best thing to do is to sit down with them and have an honest discussion about why. Are they nervous or afraid? That’s okay, and it’s normal. Options like sedation are available to make them more comfortable.

It’s also important to emphasize the benefits of good oral health, and how going to the dentist protects their smile. Many teens and pre-teens are focused on their appearance as they mature, so this is a good way to get them through their dental appointments.

Work With A Patient, Experienced Family Dentist – Schedule Your Appointment Today! 

Dr. Patrick Stuckey provides expert care to infants, teenagers, and kids of all ages in-between. With his patient, informative and fun approach to dentistry for kids, your little one won’t have to be scared of their next visit. So don’t wait. Contact us online or give us a call at (318) 255-8648 to schedule your child’s appointment in Ruston right away.

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