We’ve been talking to local dentists that really know kids – you can check out our whole list of Top Vancouver Family Dentists here. They shared their tips on how you can make your child’s visits to the dentist the least stressful possible.
How to prepare for a visit to the dentist
“We recommend brushing your child’s teeth twice a day, and if you’re already doing that, great job! You’re preparing them well to understand that having someone looking in their mouths and touching their teeth is not a threatening experience. Other things you can do are: let your child know in advance that they are going to see the dentist today. Be calm and positive and let us do the rest when they arrive. We will guide them through their journey as pleasantly as possible,” says Dr. Hung from Monarch Pediatric Dental Centres
Read books about visiting the dentist
“A few weeks before the appointment, read your children books about going to the dentist. Some of my favourites are: The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist and Sesame Street – Ready, Set, Brush,” says Dr. Melissa Skinner of Third Street Dental.
Dr. Robin Mak of Kits Family Dental agrees: “My twin girls love reading books, so a great place to start is to read a book to your child about visiting the dentist. There is one by Dora (Show Me Your Smile), and the Berenstain Bears, which gives a great introduction to all the different sights, sounds, and stuff in a dentist’s office.”
When talking to your children about a dental appointment (especially the first one), don’t go into much detail,” says Dr. Kanani. “Stay positive but be realistic and honest. If you say everything will be fine but then they wind up needing a treatment that scares them, they’ll lose trust in the dentist and in you,” says Dr. Karim Kanani of Smiletown Dentistry.
“The best way to get a child being comfortable at the dental office is to start early. The American and Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend for children to have their first dental visit at the age of one,” explains Dr. Nancy Vertel of Half Moon Dentistry.
What NOT to do
“One thing NOT to do is to use a visit to the dentist as a threat or to scare your kids into brushing their teeth,” says Dr. Robin Mak of Kits Family Dental
Harriet Fancott is the Editor and Social Media Manager for Vancouver Mom. She has over 20 years experience in the arts, tech and mom-based blogging arenas. She lives in East Vancouver with her husband and son where they enjoy exploring all that Vancouver has to offer from festivals and events to playgrounds and beaches to sushi and ice cream (although not together).