Picture it: you’ve taken time out of your busy day to schedule a dental appointment for your stubborn husband or teen. They’re overdue for a cleaning, they haven’t had an exam in far too long, and getting them to go in is, well, like pulling teeth. You inform them of their upcoming appointment and get huffing, puffing, whining and moaning in return. Sound familiar?

Living with a stubborn husband or teen who refuses to go to the dentist is an all too common experience for many women. If simply booking the appointment for them causes grunting and groaning, there are other tactics you can try to get your family member to take their dental health seriously.

Present Them with Cold, Hard Facts

If your efforts to get your grumpy spouse or surly teen into the dentist’s office are met with less thanks than you deserve, presenting them with the cold, hard facts of what skipping office visits means might be the scare they need. Whether it’s cluing your husband in to the fact that poor dental health is linked to cardiovascular problems or reminding your teen that their dental health impacts their ability to get a job or romantic partner, sometimes a little tough love is warranted.

Lest you be accused of “nagging,” a way of minimizing your very real concern as trivial, remind them that their health is important to you and work with them to figure out the real reason they’re so hesitant to get into the dental office.

Appeal to Vanity

Does your teen have a big event coming up — prom, perhaps, or graduation? They’ll want to look and feel their best for the event, and a routine cleaning is one of the best ways to prepare for that. If you need an analogy she’ll understand, dressing up for a major event while neglecting dental health is like putting on a full face of makeup — contour, eyeshadow, liner and all — without covering up a huge zit.

The allure of romance is also a strong motivator to get your spouse or teen into the office. Remind your hubby that bad breath makes it less likely you’ll want a smooch when he comes home after a long day or inform your teen of the impact a good, healthy smile can have on self-esteem — and the chances of getting a date, if that’s where their focus is.

If your stubborn family member is feeling less than confident because of staining or alignment issues, mention that there’s a chance the dentist can offer treatments to remedy these concerns, but only after seeing them for an initial exam.

Bargain with Them

Sometimes a little bribery and bargaining get the job done. Dangle a metaphorical carrot in front of your stubborn teen to get them into the office for a checkup — maybe the new video game they’ve been eyeing or a trip somewhere they don’t normally get to go. Offer to barter or excuse chores — a tactic that works on both husbands and teenagers. If it gets them invested in their dental health, a predetermined incentive for good behavior — taking care of their teeth — might be worth it.

If your teen or husband is hesitant to go in for a cleaning because of fear, offer to go with them at the same time. Make a day out of it — a date night with your partner, a self-care mother/daughter or mother/son quality time day. Before or after the appointment, make it clear you’ll engage in an enjoyable activity for them, be it getting your nails done with your teenage daughter, a trip to the movies with your son or just some time alone with your spouse without focusing on the everyday worries of your family.

Getting Your Stubborn Husband or Teen to the Dentist

Unfortunately, stubborn family members aren’t likely to take charge of making their own regular appointments. While it’s not fair that the burden of labor of making the appointment and ensuring they get there falls on you, it’s a reality for many wives and mothers. You may need to get creative in persuading them to get to their appointment, but once it’s done, they’re likely to thank you — once they stop moping, of course. Give us a call at 201-560-0606 or email us here and we’ll get you fast-tracked back to eye-catching confidence.

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