Struggling to get your family to go to an overdue dental appointment?
Has the mere mention of the “D-word” led to tantrums from certain family members? (Adults included!)
We’re certain that those of us with kids – as well as some of us with stubborn spouses – can relate!
All of us know the importance of dental health. What you may not know is how to convince stubborn family members to keep up with their dental check-ups!
Convincing a stubborn family member can be tricky. So, what can you do? Our family dentist in Armadale has a couple of suggestions we hope might help!
Getting your kids to their annual check-up
Developing good dental habits at an early age is crucial to ensuring that your kids grow up with strong, healthy teeth.
And that means getting them into the habit of seeing the dentist regularly!
Give them a reward
We know, it’s the same piece of advice you’ll find on just about any parenting blog. However, there’s a reason it’s such a common suggestion: namely, it works!
Offering a reward when they visit their dentist can do the trick when it comes to convincing them to make up for an overdue dental appointment.
You might choose to offer a material reward like a toy, treating them to take-out on the weekend, or giving them an extra hour of screen time in the evening.
(And as dentists, it goes without saying that we don’t recommend bribes of sweets or soft drinks!)
Help them overcome their fears
One reason why stubborn children are hard to convince is that they’re scared.
And frankly, we don’t blame them – the new setting, sounds, and sights can be overwhelming for young kids!
Luckily, there are ways you can help overcome these fears:
- Introduce them to your family dentist in Armadale before their appointment – let them visit the clinic and meet the team – with no strings attached
- Take your kids through a “practice run”, getting your kids used to what they should expect at the dentist
- Try to suppress your own dental anxiety – kids can pick up on this
- Use positive language – good news only!
It’s all about making your kids feel comfortable with the idea of going to the dentist and eliminating dental anxiety before it becomes an entrenched habit!
Additionally, we suggest keeping the lead-up to the appointment as mundane as possible.
Don’t treat it like a special event that you’re attending – at the end of the day, it’s something we all do (or should!), and people visit their dentist every single day.
Try to teach little ones that this is just another “thing” they should do, along with getting their haircut or buying school supplies.
Need more tips? We’ve got plenty – click here to find out what they are!
Remind them of their pain and complaints
In some ways, kids are incredibly smart – in others, less so!
Some suggest that kids learn about cause-and-effect as early as 8 months old – while that’s an impressively young age, sometimes they need a little bit of extra prodding to make the connections in their head.
One area where kids may struggle to connect the dots is their oral health. After all, they don’t know about things like bacteria and infections yet.
But you know what they do understand? Dental pain!
Be sure to explain the link between preventative dentistry, and avoiding dental pain. Once your kids understand the connection, we bet they’ll be more willing to pay the dentist a visit – for preventative care.
What about adults?
Convincing kids to overcome their dental fears and attend their annual checkup with your Armadale dentist is one thing – doing the same for an adult is another!
It could be an adult son or daughter, an elderly parent or a spouse who stubbornly refuses to see a dental professional.
Since you’re dealing with grown-ups, you’ll need to use different tactics…
Explain the health risks
Did you know?
A lot of dental issues can take years to first appear – and scarily, can lead to a number of concerning health issues, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
Each of these can be impacted by your oral health – something most people don’t know!
That stubborn family member simply may not realise the risks of oral health problems when delaying dental visits – we suggest taking the time to explain this to them.
Find out more about the “mouth-body connection” in this blog post.
Talk things through with them
In a lot of cases, your relative may have a reason for being anxious, even if they don’t know it.
In other cases, simply talking things through and getting to the heart of the matter can get them to see your dentist.
For example, there might be an undiagnosed phobia at play, or a specific incident that’s scaring them away from seeing the dentist even though they understand the importance.
When talking things through, you’ll also want to identify what it is about the dentist in particular that scares them.
Armed with this information, our dentists in Armadale can come up with ways to ensure that during your appointment, your relative won’t be confronted by the things they’re scared of.
We use a wide variety of techniques to achieve this, such as:
- Sleep dentistry
- Laughing gas
- Local anaesthetic
To uncover this information however, you’ll need to have that conversation!
Kids, adults… either way, it’s important that you choose a reliable, friendly family dentist in Armadale
In some cases, an adult’s nervousness when it comes to the dentist arises from a bad experience in the past.
Our family dental clinic in Armadale knows that one bad experience with one dentist can lead to many cases of dental anxiety in the future – that’s why we make it our mission to put our best foot forward, building trust with each of our patients!
It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, or the condition of your teeth – Dental Care Group offers a wide range of dental treatments from regular check-ups to cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening, and everything in between.
Look after your teeth and protect your smile with Dental Care Group.