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How to Talk to Young Children about Going to the Dentist | Overland Park Family Dentist

Some days, it can be pretty hard to remember what it was like when you were a kid. But for young children—especially very young children—just about everything is brand new, and new things can be scary until you get used to them. Sure, some things are just outright scary: clowns, power outages, unfriendly animals, loud noises, and broccoli. But a visit to your Overland Park dentist shouldn’t be one of those things!

Here at Watts Family Dental, we’re happy to see every member of your family, even the youngest ones. And we go out of our way to make sure that everyone is as comfortable as humanly possible. While there may be no way to avoid your child’s first dental visit being a little bit intimidating—after all, even a new playground or new friends can be a little scary at first—we have some advice on how to talk to your child about going to the dentist that might help put some of their fears to rest.

Start talking about dental visits and going to see the dentist early on. The easiest way to ease a young child’s fears of going to the dentist is to not make the dentist a scary subject in the first place. Talk about trips to the dentist the same way you would anything else that you do regularly. Of course, it helps if you model good dental behavior yourself, so make regular appointments with your Overland Park dentist, and even bring you child along so they can see what it’s like!

Don’t use negative words when talking about the dentist. We all have an unfortunate tendency to talk about dentists in a way that makes them sound unpleasant or scary. It’s ingrained in everything from idioms to movies. But using negative language to describe the dentist around your kids can color their perceptions before they even set foot in the office. You’d be scared to go someplace too if you only ever heard bad things said about it!

Play dentist at home. One way to dispel the fear of a new activity is to practice it through safe play. You can invite your child to use a popsicle stick to look in your mouth or even count your teeth. By walking them through the process of what a dentist does, you can help ease their worries about what they might have to face when they head to see their Overland Park dentist!

Don’t resort to bribes. It didn’t work with the broccoli, so don’t try it with the dentist. More importantly, bribing your child reinforces that idea that dental appointments are something to be avoided, or, at best, endured. That’s not a good way to set your child up for a lifetime of good dental health!

Every member of your family is welcome at Watts Family Dental, so whether you’re scheduling your young child’s first visit or just setting a good example by regularly attending your own, call us at (913) 338-3384 to schedule an appointment with your Overland Park dentist today!

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