Tips for Getting Your Kid Excited About the Dentist

Have you mentioned a dentist visit to your little one, only to be met with groans, eye rolls, or even tears? It's no secret that many kids are intimidated by a trip to the dentist’s office, and it makes sense given the unfamiliar noises, objects, and procedures. 

But with some creativity and understanding, our team at the offices of Robert F. Wilcox, DMD, in Butte, Montana, is here to change dread into anticipation. Our practice is dedicated to offering stress-free dental services for the whole family, including comprehensive pediatric dentistry

Dr. Wilcox and our team have put together our top tips on how to get your kid excited about their next dental appointment. Keep reading for the information you need.  

Start by telling dental stories

It’s no secret that kids love stories. From discovering new worlds to living through the characters, children like to escape into their favorite tales.

Use this to your advantage and start creating a positive narrative around visiting the dentist by weaving dental-themed tales. For example, tell your child about the dentist, a tooth hero who fights cavity monsters and helps kids keep their smiles bright and shining. 

You can also download stories and activity sheets from the American Dental Association. Or visit the library or bookstore and pick up books about dental visits, especially if the stories feature characters your child already knows and loves. 

Starting with positive stories about dentist visits makes the idea of a checkup more familiar and fun. 

Play pretend

Playing pretend isn’t just a way for kids to have fun — it's how they learn and understand the world around them. Put this to work to get your child excited about their upcoming visit with Dr. Wilcox by setting up a mini dental clinic at home. 

Take turns playing pretend and being the dentist and patient with your child. Use a toothbrush, a mirror, and a dentist coat, and use pretend play to demystify the tools and procedures, making the real visit seem like just another day of play.

Explain the importance of dental care

In simple, engaging ways, explain how taking care of their teeth helps your child eat, smile, and talk. Use examples they can relate to, like how strong teeth help them enjoy their favorite crunchy snacks. 

Encourage questions about their teeth and the dentist, looking online together for answers if you’re not sure. Showing your interest in dental care can spark their interest and make them feel more excited about seeing their dental provider.

Online resources offer videos and child-friendly explanations for many dental issues. 

Lead by example

Children are incredibly perceptive and often mirror the attitudes and emotions of their parents. If they see you being casual and positive about your own dental visits, they're more likely to adopt the same attitude. 

Lead by example by keeping regular dental visits and practicing good oral hygiene. And share your own experiences visiting the dentist in a positive light, emphasizing how good it feels to have clean, healthy teeth.

Keep the conversation going

Talking about dental care or visiting the dentist doesn't have to be a one-time event. Keep the conversation going by casually bringing up the topic in daily conversations. 

Ask your child what they remember about their last visit or what they liked best, or if they haven’t been to the dentist, the thing they’re most excited about. This kind of ongoing dialogue helps normalize dental care as part of their routine health maintenance.

Choose a kid-friendly dentist

Not all dental practices are created equal, especially through the eyes of a child. Look for a dentist, like Dr. Wilcox, who specializes in pediatric dentistry or is known for being particularly good with kids. 

Practices like ours have child-friendly toys and activities in the waiting area, making the dental visit feel more like an adventure than a chore. A dentist who is patient, explains procedures in a kid-friendly manner, and even throws in a joke or two, can make all the difference.

Celebrate the visit

Build excitement by marking your child’s upcoming dentist appointment on the calendar together and counting down the days. After the visit, celebrate their bravery and cooperation. 

It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant — a simple sticker, a healthy treat, or extra playtime can do the trick. This positive reinforcement makes the dental visit something they can look forward to.

By integrating these strategies, you can turn a visit to the dentist into a positive, even exciting, event for your kid. If you need personalized suggestions, our friendly team at Robert F. Wilcox, DMD, in Butte, Montana, is here. Simply contact our office to connect.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Overcome Dental Anxiety With Oral Sedation

Overcome Dental Anxiety With Oral Sedation

If you’re one of the many Americans who suffer from dental anxiety, you may struggle to keep up your dental care. Oral sedation can help you overcome your worries and get the care you need, so take a moment to learn more.
Ask Your Dentist These Questions At Your Next Cleaning

Ask Your Dentist These Questions At Your Next Cleaning

Curious about how you can enhance your routine dental cleaning? Your dentist is the key to a world of knowledge about your oral health. Keep reading to learn the essential questions that will give you insights into your dental care.
How Do Dental Fillings Help?

How Do Dental Fillings Help?

Most people think of dental fillings as just a treatment for cavities, but they can do so much more. Take a moment to learn how dental fillings can help improve your oral health and your smile. 

How to Care for Your Temporary Dental Crown

A temporary crown won’t stay in your mouth for long, but caring for it the right way helps you avoid pain now and complications down the line. Take a moment to learn what you need to know about temporary crowns.

5 Reasons to Consider Professional Teeth Whitening

Are you tired of holding back your smile because of dull, yellow teeth? Professional teeth whitening might be the answer. Keep reading to learn our top five reasons to consider this treatment this holiday season.
Child's Dental Sealants

What to Expect from Your Child's Dental Sealants

If you’re on the fence about dental sealants, we can help. This affordable and effective preventive treatment helps stop cavities from developing, saving you costs for cavity repair and your child’s dental health. Keep reading to find out more.