The dreaded moment has arrived. Somehow you have to both get your kids in the car for their dental checkup and keep them happy. When strong-armed tactics fail, there is always the time-honored, foolproof method of outright bribery. Here are five ways you can successfully bribe your kids into taking that sometimes horrifying trip and tolerating every minute.
1. The power of celebrity
In this age of celebrity worship, using a little personalized product placement can go a long way. Have a tween girl who loves One Direction? Promise her any celebrity-endorsed product she wants. A One Direction backpack? No problem. A duvet sporting the smiling faces of the teen heartthrobs? Right away! For boys, depending on their interests, you can move to famous sports figures or fictional icons like Batman.
2. Pass the dairy
Unfortunately, most delicious foods useful in the bribery game ruin your children’s teeth and earn disapproval from dentists. The good news is that dairy products like cheese and yogurt actually help your children’s teeth grow stronger. Cheese contains milk proteins that protect from tooth decay, while yogurt is full of calcium. For parents with dairy-loving children, this is a good incentive.
3. Fun trips
Unless your child is getting a serious dental procedure done, you can schedule a dental appointment as the first activity in a long day of fun. A trip to the zoo or an aquarium is always entertaining. A day-long jaunt at an amusement park could be just the ticket to keep your child’s mind off the awful-tasting gritty toothpaste and on the fun times ahead.
4. Lure them in with cuteness
Have you recently been pestered to purchase a furry friend? The post-dentist period is a perfect time to go buy a pet. Whether your kids have been harassing you to get a parakeet or a poodle, this might just be the right time to fulfill their wish. If you eventually come home with a simple goldfish that’s nobody’s business but your own. Remember that if your family dentist is scary enough to overshadow an adorable pet, maybe you should hop on a dentist advertising website and find someone nicer.
5. The old standby
If all else fails, tucking a little cold, hard cash into your child’s pocket is a surefire way to get them in a teeth-cleaning mood. Just convince them that the tooth fairy comes every time you go the dentist and all of your problems are solved.