If you have a teenager, you know that there are things that you just can't force them to do. As a parent you have to pick your battles, but some things like visiting the dentist are non-negotiable. If your teenager is refusing to go to the dentist, here are four things that you can do to get them in for an appointment.
1. Practice What You Preach
Make sure that you and your spouse visit the dentist regularly. Once kids get into their teenage years, they are going to watch your lifestyle choices. If aren't going to the dentist, they are going to point this out. If going to the dentist is a priority in your life, it will be harder for your teenager to say no to regular visits.
2. Have Another Adult Talk to Them
If you are going through a rough patch with your teen in other facets of their life, they might be saying no to the dentist as general defiance to get at you. If they have an older sibling or relative that can reiterate the importance of going to the dentist, maybe your teen will listen to another adult and be convinced to see the dentist.
3. Talk with Them About Their Reluctance
Maybe there is something else going on with your teen besides skipping the dentist out of laziness or general reluctance. If they are fearful, maybe they can talk to the dentist about this before any exam takes place. If your teen would like to try out another dentist, work to make this happen and respect their autonomy. If appointments wipe them out or the numbing procedures make them self-conscious, make a deal that they can stay home from school the day of the appointment.
4. Tough Love
If your teen refuses to go to the dentist, this needs to be treated like any other boundary and take away privileges until they comply. You might feel bad about it, but putting your foot down might be the only option. This is one of those things that your teen will thank you for later on even if they hate you for it now.
When children are younger, it is easier to get themto the dentist. Make sure to instill this as a 'no wiggle-room appointment' that must be kept. Once your child is in their teens, it can be harder to get them to the dentist but it is worth the fight for their oral care needs. See sites like http://www.kwdentists.ca for dental advice.Share