At Michael S. Spangler, DDS, PA, we love to be a part of helping your child have a successful dental appointment. We know that there may be many things we can do to put your child at ease, but there are also things you can do as their parent to make their appointment go smoothly and be more successful overall. Here are some ways you can help your child enjoy a successful dental appointment:
- Schedule the best time of day- Ideally, if you are making an appointment for a young child, you want to avoid making a dental appointment when your child usually takes a nap. It is better if they have already taken their nap, so they will be more alert and cooperative.
- Portray a good mood- Children pick up on their parents’ mood, so if you are happy and excited, they are likely to be as well. Remain in a calm and upbeat mood throughout the exam, so there is a better chance they’ll stay calm, too.
- Snack and brush- Be sure your child has eaten a meal or a snack, followed by brushing their teeth, before heading to the dental clinic. The goal is for your child not to be hungry and avoid getting food on their teeth right before the exam. It is fine to bring a snack with you to give them after the visit is finished – that might work well as an incentive to behave.
- Roleplay at home- You can give them a better idea of what to expect at the dental appointment if you do a bit of “make believe” at home. Empower them to ask questions, so they’ll feel more comfortable because they know more about what is going to happen during their visit.
- Be honest, yet positive- Your goal is to be positive when answering their questions, but do not set unrealistic expectations by not being less than honest. For example, it is fine to tell them it is just an exam if that is all that is planned, but if a procedure is involved, don’t tell them there won’t be other work done.