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Playful Smiles: Fun Approaches to Pediatric Dental Treatments

So, you’re planning a pediatric dental treatment for your little ones, for many kids and teenagers, trips to the dentist can be filled with stress and anxiety.

Dental treatments are confusing and intimidating, which can lead to unwanted fears and phobias. While dental phobias are somewhat common for adolescents, it doesn’t always have to be that way.


Here are seven fun ways to adjust your approach to pediatric dental treatments to make going to the dentist an enjoyable experience for your kids.


1. Make The Car Ride Enjoyable

Once you get in the car for the dentist, ensure you have activities and dental games for kids you can play with your kids to keep them entertained and engaged. This can improve the experience for your kids and show them that going to the dentist isn’t just another chore. It will also help keep your kid’s dental anxiety at bay and reduce stress before getting in the dentist’s chair.


2. Buy Going to the Dentist Books

If your children are young, you can use picture books and story time to familiarize them with what to expect for their next dental visit. These books are designed to help them understand the importance of dental treatments and regular check-ups. Some great books to consider include:


3. Plan a Dentist Playtime Activity

Going to the dentist or getting a pediatric dental treatment done for the first time can be a scary experience. To help your little ones prepare for the day, consider setting up a fun-filled playtime activity that teaches them about dentistry. 

You can pretend you’re the dentist and walk through all the steps a regular dentist would take during a treatment or check-up. When it comes time for a check-up or a filling, they’ll know what to expect and feel less anxious about the dental treatment.


4. Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement can help your kids overcome their fears. You can set up a system that rewards your kids when they brush their teeth, floss, or go in for a pediatric dental treatment. The rewards will give them the motivation and courage to prioritize their oral hygiene and feel more comfortable at the dentist’s office.

5. Play Dental Games

Creative dental games can help your little ones familiarize themselves with their mouth and understand the importance of brushing and flossing. It’s a tremendous dental game for kids counting your teeth. Here’s how to play:

  • Ask your child to open their mouth and look in the bathroom mirror
  • Have them point at each tooth with a floss stick
  • Have them count out loud each tooth they point at

This dental game will help them get more comfortable keeping their mouth open for extended periods and show them what the dentist looks at during the check-ups.


6. Have Games You Can Play in the Waiting Room

Sitting in the waiting room can make your kids feel anxious and make them overthink. Instead of sitting in silence or patiently waiting to be called, bring games and activities that will distract them. This will help ease their dental anxiety and keep trips to the dentist a positive experience for everyone.


7. Maintain a Positive Mindset

Children feed off their parent’s energy. If you’re stressed or worried about how they’ll react at the dentist, it could impact their outlook on trips to the dentist. Instead, you’ll want to stay positive and be a good role model for your kids. Keep them calm and never let negativity cloud their judgment about regular check-ups or dental treatments.


A great way to do this is to lead by example. Show them you go to the dentist and prioritize oral hygiene. Brush your teeth with them, teach them how to floss, and turn oral hygiene into a fun-filled, family activity.


Prepare Your Little Ones for Their Next Dental Treatment

Dentophobia can lead to negative experiences at the dentist. To prepare your child for their upcoming pediatric dental treatment, you’ll want to approach the experience positively and find interactive ways to reduce dental anxiety.

To make treatments a more enjoyable experience, you’ll want to find a pediatric dentist your kids love and schedule regular check-ups with them biannually. The more they go in, the more comfortable they’ll be.

The team at Panacea Dental in Libertyville is here to help your kids conquer their dental anxiety and reduce the fear and stress that come with pediatric dental treatments. Schedule an appointment today.

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