Tricks for a Positive Kids Dentist Appointment
And now, a moment you’ve been waiting for: You get to be in charge and show your parents how to navigate taking you to a dentist appointment. You’ve been the proud owner of teeth most of your life after all, so you know some things about how to keep your smile bright and healthy. Your parents get it, too, though sometimes they need a little guidance along the way.
Because let’s face it: Your parents’ experience of the dentist is much like your parents’ experience of life before touchscreens—from another time period! Dentistry wasn’t as technologically advanced when your parents were kids, which may impact how they feel about the dentist now. In fact, your parents might even feel nervous about your dental visits, even though they’re not the ones sitting in the dentist’s chair.
The good news? If the idea of bringing you to the dentist makes your parents nervous, a little support and information can help them (and you) feel more relaxed about your next dental visit.
Get ready to show off your research skills and gather all you need to know here, in our Comprehensive Guide for Kids on Taking Their Parents to the Dentist.
What to Expect at a Dentist Appointment
People can get nervous for all kinds of reasons. It may be because they’ve had an unpleasant experience in the past or because they don’t know what to expect. Fortunately, the answer is often as simple as explaining what’s going to happen in positive language. Here’s how you can help your parents know what to expect and feel more relaxed at your next pediatric dentist appointment.
Let’s start with a bonus: The waiting room at your pediatric dentist is probably cooler than the waiting room at your parents’ dentist. Get your parents excited about some “me time” in a fun and supportive environment while you’re having your teeth evaluated and cleaned.
Pro Tip: Remind your parents about their chance to enjoy comfy furniture, free wifi, TVs, tablets, and their choice of gourmet coffee or tea while you’re being taken care of by an expert team.
When your parents were kids, they probably had what’s known as “plain X-rays.” Plain X-rays are a lot like pictures taken with a film camera. While they take great images of your teeth, these images have to be developed before you can see them. On the other hand, digital X-rays are available almost immediately and give your pediatric dentist the most detailed picture of the insides of your teeth.
Fun Fact: Radiation—like sound, light, and heat—is simply moving energy. Plain dental X-rays use a very low dose of radiation (about the same amount you’re exposed to during a one- or two-hour flight). Digital X-rays use even less radiation than plain X-rays, making them a great choice for parents and kids alike.
Cleanings and Evaluations at Your Dentist Appointment
Since you love how smooth and clean your teeth feel after a dental visit, cleanings and evaluations are actually something you look forward to. Though you sometimes don’t like the scraping sound or having to spit into that tiny vacuum, you trust your pediatric dental team and know that a healthy, beautiful smile is worth a few odd sensations.
Pro Tip: If your cleanings make your parents nervous, gently remind them to bring something to do—like a book or tablet—so they’re not hovering too close while you’re having your teeth polished.
Though you do an amazing job brushing and flossing your teeth, you understand that cavities sometimes happen. But don’t worry; you know the most important thing is heading to your pediatric dentist for a timely cavity treatment.
Fun Fact: Cavity treatment has come a long way since your parents were kids. While your parents had to have cavities filled with a drill, you get to enjoy laser dentistry. Laser dentistry removes cavities without a loud, buzzing drill and is so gentle and effective that most kids don’t even need a numbing shot before their cavity treatment. Once your cavity is filled, you won’t even see it. While your parents probably had visible silver (amalgam) fillings, you’ll get a composite filling that matches the color of your teeth and is less likely to cause tooth damage or fall out.
What to Do If You (or Your Parent) Feel Nervous at Your Dentist Appointment
Even though you love having a healthy, beautiful smile, it’s still possible to feel nervous about going to the dentist every now and then. If you do start to feel nervous, be kind to yourself and express your worries to your parents or dental hygienist. Knowing someone is there for you when you’re feeling nervous can help you feel brave and supported.
Pro Tip: You know how much it helps you to express your worries? The same thing can help your parents, too. If your parents feel nervous about your dental visit, be kind and let them express their worries about your experience because that’s what parents are for after all! The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to worry even if your parents feel nervous.
When to Ask for Help
You’ve done an amazing job preparing to take your parents to the dentist! The last thing you should know is that if you feel like you need help, you can ask your pediatric dental team.
Fun Fact: Asking for help when you need it makes you strong and brave. When you express what’s bothering you to a safe person, you help make it possible to find the right solution.
Now that you’ve done your homework, consider yourself fully ready to bring your parents to your next dental visit. Ask your parents to contact us at Must Love Kids to schedule your next appointment and get ready to show them what a great place the dentist is.