It is fair to say that not many kids enjoy going to the dentist, and I will include my own 3 in that assessment too. This makes it really difficult for parents and you know that as the appointment approaches that the anxiety begins, and so does the mischief. What I find quite bizarre about this is that once kids in this area, San Diego and Los Angeles, begin to reach the age of about 14/15, they are obsessed with their teeth and take whatever steps that they can to get that famed Hollywood smile. The attitudes towards dentistry in this community is great, but young kids just don’t have the love for it that the older kids do. I spoke with my dentist Dr. Kami Hoss about what I could do to get the kids more interested in their oral hygiene and the dentist trips, and here is what we decided to do.
We decided that the fear which the kids had when they went to the dentist was the fear of the unknown. They never realized that their dentist trip would only be a case of prodding and poking around, and I’m sure that they had nightmares that the dentist was going to bring out a huge drill and start going at their gums. In order to resolve this I asked Dr. Kami Hoss to arrange something of an open day at the dentist, where the kids could see what dentist really did and how they did it. Of course I know there is some scary stuff in the dentist so we made a decision to hide those and just show the ‘nicer’ stuff. Dr. Kami was also able to inject some fun into proceedings with some props and the hour that we spent there really helped the kids to relax a little in terms of how they felt when going to the dentist.
Given that I have 3 kids who love nothing more than competing with one another, I thought that it would be a great idea to run a high stakes dentistry competition. I asked the dentist to mark the kids’ teeth out of ten each time that we went to the dentist, and I told the kids that at the end of the year, whoever had the most points would go to Disneyland for a day. Of course I was always going to take all of the kids together but they didn’t need to know that. Such was the competitive spirit of the kids that they really went for this tournament and they would be religiously brushing and flossing their teeth in order to win the big prize. If you have more than one kid then this is a great way to get them excited about going to the dentist and giving them a focus when it comes to good oral hygiene.