Below are a couple of Do’s and Don’ts to help make children visiting the dentist as stress-free as possible!
Tips for Children Visiting the Dentist
Do- Role play! – Young children LOVE roleplaying! This is the perfect way to familiarise your little ones with what to expect when they come in to see our dentists for a check-up. Sit on the couch or floor with you your legs crossed and have your child lay with their head in your lap and play dentist! Have them open their mouth wide, count their teeth – even brush and floss while you have them still and then have them do the same for you!
DO- Encourage Healthy Oral Hygiene habits at home. Children learn by watching the adults around them -We brush and floss our own teeth twice a day and we need to do the same with children- from the moment you see that very first tooth popping through the journey of looking after our Oral health has officially begun! For young babies you can clean with a damp face washer and then progress to a baby toothbrush, this will familiarise them with the feel of the brush in their mouth and give you a talking point “Look mummy and daddy have a tooth brush too!” “Let’s clean those toothy pegs!”
DO- Bring your child in for their first visit while they are still young. First visits generally start between the ages of 1 and 2. This first visit is primarily about the child meeting the dentist, possibly having a ride in our cool chair, seeing our cool little mirror, counting teeth and creating a positive environment. We understand that it can be daunting for both parents and the child but we are here to help make looking after teeth as fun as possible. Also keep their visits regular, every 6 months is recommended and this will form a routine for them that they will expect.
DO- Ask us if to enquire if you and your family are eligible for the Child Dental Benefit Scheme through Medicare and for those families not eligible we offer a 10% Student discount. We understand that raising a family is expensive so on top of providing a 10% Student discount we work hard to keep our fees low as well as offer an Interest free payment plan through Zip money if more extensive treatment is required (eg Braces) Maintaining regular check-ups also helps identify areas of concern early. The earlier a potential problem is identified the less expensive the fix is. Prevention is not only better than cure it is cheaper too!
DON’T -Please don’t use us as a punishment or use negative associations with our service! “If you don’t brush your teeth the dentist will pull your teeth out” “If you’re not good you will go see the dentist” “It will hurt” “You will get a needle” are some of the common ones! (I know because my parents used these on me!) If something is constantly being described or referred to as a negative experience, children will latch on to this and it could affect their healthy hygiene habits. Instead use positive phrases “The dentist is a friend of the tooth fairy” “They have a cool tv on the roof while your laying down” “The dentist helps keep our teeth healthy just like the doctor helps keep your body healthy”
DON’T- Don’t show signs of stress yourself! If mum or dad is stressed out the child will sense this and think they have something to worry about. The very first appt should be something that’s celebrated as it’s a milestone for your child growing up. We love working with children and have a few distraction techniques up our sleeves- most popular is the tv on the roof helps as we can have their favourite tv show playing to make them feel a bit more comfortable.
Remember we are here to help make the appointment as easy for both yourself and your child. Any questions please ask us! Click here to contact the friendly team at Polished Dental if you have any questions or would like to make a booking.