- I never told them any dental horror stories. I guess I never gave them a reason to be scared e.g. don't tell them about your own fears or how horrible it is to hear the sound of the drill etc....
- Talked about it like a matter of fact. A dental check-up is all part of the routine - brushing, flossing, dental checkup.
- Read books about going to the dentist or loosing teeth. (I currently have 2 of the books available at my children's bookshop: 'Dad, Are You the Tooth Fairy?' and 'Harry and the Dinosaurs Say 'Raahh!')
- I didn't give them a choice. Don't say, "you want to go or not?". I just said, "We have to go and see what the dentist say. I already called the dentist, we are going ...."
- Be honest and tell them what will happen e.g. The dentist may pull out your teeth, so the other one can grow properly. He will make your mouth numb first so you don't feel any pain. Even if you feel pain, it will be like an ant's bite.
With my son, I told him that the dentist will just look at his teeth. If he has been good at brushing, the dentist won't have to do anything. As an incentive, you could always say "let's go show the dentist what beautiful teeth you have."
- Continually give assurance and comfort. Sit on the dentist chair first if you have to.
One more tip from a&a'smom (which I am guilty of not doing):
Visit the dentist regularly. Don't only go when there is a problem coz' that is how children will associate dentist with pain.
I have a FREEBIE for you -- dental care worksheets. Say thanks to SMILES (San Diego Dental Disease Prevention Program) for these fun worksheets.