Preparing children for dental checkups can be a daunting task for parents, but dentist and mother of two, Hanna Kinsella, 35, has unveiled valuable insights and strategies to help kids approach these nerve-wracking appointments with confidence.
Hanna Kinsella, who is the mother of Max, two, and Kimi, one, possesses a wealth of expertise when it comes to guiding youngsters through the process of dental visits, transforming what can be an anxiety-inducing experience into a manageable and even enjoyable one.
As many parents can attest, trips to the dentist can evoke stress in both children and caregivers alike due to the unfamiliarity of the situation. Young kids may be apprehensive about having a stranger inspect their mouths, and Hanna offers a wealth of advice to alleviate these concerns.
The following are some of Hanna’s key recommendations:
- Preparation is Essential: Hanna underscores the importance of initiating discussions about the dentist visit well in advance. By openly discussing the upcoming appointment with children, parents can alleviate their anxiety. Hanna advises explaining the sequence of events during the visit, from greeting the receptionist to detailing the actual dental examination. To further familiarize children with the process, she suggests showing them age-appropriate videos of dental checkups.
- Lead by Example: Hanna advocates that both children and adults should have regular dental checkups. Demonstrating that adults visit the dentist without fear can serve as a positive influence on children. By exhibiting a proactive approach to oral health, adults can inspire their little ones to overcome their fears.
- Provide Reassurance: Addressing concerns about interacting with a stranger is crucial. Hanna suggests that adults reassure children that they will be by their side throughout the checkup. Encourage children to ask any questions they might have before the appointment begins, and assure them they can communicate through their parents if they feel shy.
- Offer Child-Friendly Information: Children may not fully grasp the importance of dental checkups, so Hanna recommends breaking down the concept in a manner they can comprehend. Explain that teeth are essential for enjoying favorite foods and maintaining a bright smile. This approach can also promote consistent teeth brushing at home.
- Practice for Success: Hanna proposes an engaging way to alleviate apprehension – role-playing games. Playing dentist at home with a soft, unused toothbrush can help children understand the process while making it enjoyable. Encourage them to take turns being the dentist and patient, reinforcing familiarity with the experience.
Hanna Kinsella is committed to supporting parents and children in matters of dental hygiene. Apart from her helpful tips, she has established her own business, Icy Bear Dental Cubs, which promotes good oral health among children. The initiative includes a free app named Cubby Buddy, designed to encourage children to brush their teeth twice daily.
By following Hanna’s expert advice, parents can transform dental checkups into more manageable and even enjoyable experiences for their children, promoting healthy oral habits from an early age.