Trying to negotiate with a young child who doesn’t want to do something can be a stressful experience. For young children, the idea of stepping into the unknown and visiting a healthcare check-up appointment can be a very demanding time. Even full-grown adults feel anxiety over attending dental and health appointments, so it’s natural for a young child to react even more unenthusiastically. Of course, parents want to keep their child’s teeth healthy, but this can easier said than done.
When planning your child’s dental check-up, it’s essential to take any steps which could make the process a lot smoother for both you and your child.
- Try to Book the Appointment for Early in the Day
Excess stress and anticipation are going to build, in both you and your child, the longer they are kept waiting. If your child has to wait all day before your child’s dental check-up, they may begin to get restless and want to attend less and less as the hours pass by. Try to book the appointment for as early as possible so that your child isn’t waiting longer than they have to be.
- Visit the Dental Practice First
If you have an upcoming appointment, visiting the dental practice beforehand can be helpful. If you have the same dentist as your child, perhaps you can take them along to your own appointment before their check-up is due, so that they can have a relaxed tour of the place and feel more comfortable, as well as being introduced to the dentist.
This makes it a familiar place and experience for them, and less anxiety-inducing when their own check-up is due.
- Find a Family-Oriented Dentist You Can Trust
A positive experience is reliant on the dentist you choose for your child’s dental check-up. You want a dental practice that understands family and child care and one which has a team used to working with children, such as bafdentistry.com. This can be a boon in helping your child feel relaxed and positive during their dental appointment.
- Reward Your Child for Good Behaviour
It’s essential to understand the distinction between bribe and reward when it comes to your child’s dental check-up. You shouldn’t have to beg and bribe your child before attending the dentist. Leading up to and during, the appointment, this should be treated like a natural and relaxed occurrence. If your child has behaved well, you can discuss a positive reward, such as going for ice cream afterward or having a treat at home. This should be discussed as a result, and never before or during.
- Speak Positively About the Dentist in General
Be mindful of what you say and do regarding the dentist in general and at home. If your child hears you worrying about your own dental appointment or being obviously stressed when you’re waiting for your own appointment, they will associate the dentist with negative emotions. It’s important to make your child’s dental check-up sound fun and exciting!
- Don’t Rush the Appointment
Try not to deal with the dentist as a quick, rushed visit, especially if you’re getting it out of the way before dealing with other demands, such as eating and drinking. A child who feels deprived of its usual eating pattern and feels rushed may become less receptive, especially when hungry.