If you're a single mum with a gaggle of children on your hands, a trip to the dentist no doubt has more complications than it does for single mums with just a couple of children. However, there are things you can do to take the strain out of the necessity of a dental visit. Read on for some tips that will make your life a lot easier next time your kids are due for a checkup.
Pick one dentist for everyone
If you can, go for a dentist in your area who can see everyone in your family. That way, there is no faffing about with having to deal with payments to different dental clinics or sorting out paperwork for more than one place. Instead, you can have one dentist who knows you and your children, who understands all your dental needs and who your children can be comfortable and familiar with.
With multiple children, you want to make sure that your dentist will let you have simultaneous cleanings and exams for your children. Talk to the office staff at your dental clinic to see if this possible; they may even be able to schedule appointments where your children are seen at the same time, or at least back to back, so you are not stuck in the dentist's office all day.
Talk to your children about the behaviour you expect
If you have all your children at the dentist's office at once, they are no doubt going to play off each other's fears, anxiety and excitement, therefore increasing the chances of one or more of them acting up. Therefore, it's a good idea to talk to your children beforehand to explain what kind of behaviour you expect from them, and to give them ideas of things they can do if they experience anxiety. If one of your children takes in your advice and acts sensibly and sits in the dentist's chair without complaining, the others are more likely to emulate their behaviour. Peer pressure needn't always be a negative thing!
Don't think you have to do it alone
If you anticipate that the the visit will be too much of a challenge, don't think you have to do it alone. See if a family member is able to assist you; he or she can watch your children in the waiting room while you're in the dental room. Or see if a neighbour has a teenager you can "borrow" to watch your children for you; a packet of sweets or $5 should be enough to mean your dentist's visit goes a lot more smoothly!