How to Ease Your Kids’ Fears Heading Back to the Dentist

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Three months have passed since our “normal” came to a screeching halt due to COVID-19. As re-opening is underway, we can now make up the many appointments pushed back because of the virus. At the top of that list is the dentist— as mamas, we know how crucial it is to keep the kiddos’ teeth in their tip-top shape. So how can we make sure to calm any anxiousness our children may be feeling about a trip back to see the dentist? We got some great advice from the pros at Pearly Whites.

Keep it Positive

As a multi-specialty dental office, Pearly Whites treats patients ranging from infants all the way through adults and works to help each patient feel comfortable and at ease. As a mom herself, co-owner Dr. Brooke Skolnick says preparing your child prior to any visit lays the groundwork for a good experience. When talking with your kids about what to expect, Dr. Brooke says keeping it happy and positive is helpful. Stressing the interesting, fun parts— like the TVs on the ceiling or special songs the staff sings about brushing— will remind kids what to look forward to, especially since things will feel different at the dentist than they did before.

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New suction equipment at Pearly Whites as part of the COVID response

Honesty is the Best Policy

With that said, it’s important to also be honest about what has changed and paint them an accurate picture of what to expect. At Pearly Whites, the doctors have done everything possible to make sure everyone is safe, including installing extra sanitization, suction, and air purification systems as well as glass divider guards for enhanced protection. The staff is also wearing PPE for safety, which is something kids may not use to be seeing.

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Dentists and staff at Pearly Whites are wearing PPE similar to what is typically seen in hospitals

Like many medical offices right now, everyone is pre-screened and has a no-touch temperature taken before they walk into the office. Masks are a must, and social distancing measures are in effect, so patients will wait in their cars until their appointment time. If your kids aren’t comfortable wearing a mask (after all this may be one of the first times they have ventured out), try practicing at home—even making a game out of wearing it can help. Dr. Brooke says talking with kids about the changes and letting them know it’s all to keep them safe will help reassure them when they do come in.
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When in Doubt, Distract!

And if all else fails, don’t be afraid to tap into one of the oldest parenting tricks in the books— distraction. If kids are still feeling apprehensive about the dentist, you can try to shift their focus to the office’s cool video game room or prize wall. Whatever you need to do to help their comfort level is important because dental care should be maintained regularly, advises Pearly Whites. The offices are now back open and taking every precaution possible to keep patients safe so they can take care of their teeth as needed.
For more information on Pearly Whites, visit their website, Facebook or Instagram and check out their offices in Whippany and Berkeley Heights.
This post is sponsored by Pearly Whites to keep your family’s smiles healthy and bright.


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About Author

Marisa is a mom to two sweet boys and a little lady (all under 4!) as well as one precious girl in heaven and her heart. A true Jersey girl, Marisa loves raising her family here and embracing all that being a #NJMOM has to offer. Whether it's summer days on Spring Lake beach or down on LBI, or heading out to sample some of the state's best eats (Montclair and Jersey City are favs), family days out and about together are her favorite way to spend a weekend. A former news anchor turned on-air lifestyle host and expert, you might also catch her on TV or in the kitchen cooking up something delish for the littles.

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