Change this one thing to get your child excited about going to the dentist

Sep 25, 2017

You’ve made the appointment. You’re already feeling a little nervous. It’s your child’s first visit, or the first visit in a while, and you’re already dreading the unknowns. What if your child acts up? What if he shuts his mouth, or she screams and yells?

 First of all, know that we’ve all been there. Every professional at Dr. Diesburg’s dental practice in McMinnville has children -- some of us have a handful of them -- and has been in this situation. We are not here to judge you. We’re here to be on your team and to help you and your family reach their health goals.

We’ve seen children of every stripe: Everything from completely compliant toddlers to reluctant, embattled teenagers. And our hearts open for each and every one of them.

Perhaps the most important thing we’ve noticed is that attitudes towards health change when you change the messaging. Here are some ideas we’ve put together to help kids get excited about going to the dentist, and it all boils down to making it a POSITIVE experience.

The One Thing: CHANGE HOW YOU TALK ABOUT GOING TO THE DENTIST.

How to make the dentist a positive experience for your child:

1. You GET to go to the dentist.

Sure. We all know that you really HAVE to go to the dentist, but in this day and age, having access to dental health is truly a privilege. So talk about it that way. You GET to go to the dentist. Lucky you! Even if it feels a little silly at first, simply changing how you talk about the experience will alter your child’s perception.

2. Walk them through the process.

We get it. It is a natural human impulse to have fear of the unknown, so if you haven’t been going to the dentist, it’s the first time, or your child has anxiety, you can walk them through the process in a positive way. If you yourself have anxiety, you can even schedule a meet-and-greet with the dentist and staff (call 503-472-2222) as well as a tour to familiarize your family with the space and the people there.

3. Distract yourself while waiting.

You don’t want to feel like you’re waiting with a sense of doom, and neither do we. We have designed our waiting room to be the most-family friendly in the area, with toys and books for several age groups. We even have a little indoor cave with an undersea theme where small children can play while their parents relax.

4. Praise the good behavior.

Help us help you. This is where we work together with you. We adore your child, and we gain personal satisfaction when they do well at our office. We will praise your child for great habits and for achieving even the most mundane of things. Hooray, you sat in the chair! Yes, you’re doing a good job leaning back!

5. Make it fun.

Every child who leaves our office gets to pick from our treasure chest. For many kids, going to the treasure chest is the best possible part of the visit. Be sure to note the treasure chest as you pass through the office on the way to the treatment rooms!

The benefits of positivity are real, and it is the mark of a team that strives to help each other reach their goals. Talk to us about the goals you have for your family’s health and how we can help!




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