Starting at the toddler stage, toddlers are exposed to brand new dental procedures, like x-rays and sealants. Preparing your child for these procedures is crucial to creating a positive experience.
In this article, we’ll share some ways you can help prepare your child for dental x-rays. By following these helpful tips, you’ll be able to help your child be prepared for their first toddler visit at their local Arlington kids dentist.
Role-Play With Stuffed Animals
A great way to start is by using a stuffed animal to show the procedure. Then, you can and your toddler can both practice playing dentist as you show them the procedure of receiving a toddler check-up.
Be sure to use similar language that a pediatric dentist may say. For example, you could try things like:
We’re going to tickle your teeth
I’m going to count the number of teeth you have
We’re going to take a picture of the inside of your teeth
The closer you can get to what a pediatric dentist might say, the better. That way, your child will feel a familiarity with the role play.
A good idea is to give your child a toothbrush to help your child brush their stuffed animal’s teeth. Then, have them use the phrases above as they play dentist during the exam.
Have your child sit their stuffed animal in a chair to practice the x-ray portion of the exam. Then, using a small shirt or a pillow, have them place a shirt or small pillow over their stuffed animal’s chest.
Then, have your child take an x-ray of their stuffed animal’s teeth using a small cup. Again, make it fun and use the buzz sound. Be sure to role-play a few times, so your child starts to internalize the experience.
Practice Being a Patient
After your child has played dentist with their favorite stuffed animal, you can move on to practicing becoming a patient. Children are naturally curious and love to experience things through play. As a parent, this gives you an open invitation to practice how to be a patient at their first toddler dental visit.
The more your child knows what to expect during the visit, the easier the experience will become for them. For example, you can use props such as a pillow to mimic a vest and play dentist. Be sure to take turns, so your child gets the experience to see how you react to the process.
That can help them feel more confident.
Have Fun With Real-Life X-Rays
Another great way to get your child prepared for dental x-rays is to expose them to real-world x-rays. You can use child-friendly gifts, like the Doc McStuffins x-ray camera, or you could use x-ray phone apps made especially for kids.
Your kids will love playing with the app and get more exposure to what x-rays look like. They’ll also see that it doesn’t hurt when they test it on parts of their own body.
It’s a great way to get them used to x-ray pictures and start to think of it as a cool thing to do rather than a scary thing.
Read About It
There are plenty of children’s books related to dental visits that you can read to your child. Reading is a great way for your child to get a sense of what a toddler visit is like and ask questions. Not only that, but it’s also great bonding and helps your child establish the habit of reading books to learn and experience something new.
Here are a few children’s books that we recommend:
Brush, Brush, Brush by Alicia Padron
Going to the Dentist by Anne Civardi
Sugar Bug Doug by Dr. Ben Magleby
The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan Berenstain
Brush Your Teeth, Max and Millie, by Felicity Brooks
These five children’s stories are filled with information about the importance of brushing your teeth, going to the dentist, and everything in between. Make a day of it by going out to your local library and selecting a few from our list. Then, find a cozy nook to sit and read together.
It’s sure to be a memorable and pleasurable experience.
Be Prepared for the Big Day
You’ve done the work of making your child’s first toddler visit a success. Now all that’s left is making sure to remember a few small details. For starters, try to choose a time of the day when your toddler is more calm and agreeable to being in a dentist’s chair.
You may want to consider an early morning visit or one that comes after a nap time so your child is well-rested. Another thing to consider is having your child bring a dental buddy.
A dental buddy can help your child get over the hump of a challenging part of the experience. Consider packing a stuffed animal buddy that helps your toddler feel more relaxed and safe.
Another option is to bring sunglasses for the bright lights, so your child can put them on when the dentists shine a light to look into their mouth.
Last but not least, make sure to approach the appointment with a positive attitude so your child understands that going to the dentist is no big deal.
The Big Day! Visiting an Arlington Kids Dentist!
With all your hard work and preparation, your child will be ready for their big day to visit a local Arlington kids dentist. If your toddler is ready for their toddler visit, check out the number one pediatric dentist in Arlington, Texas, Park Place Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics.
Book an appointment online or call 817-465-1888.