How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Dentist Visit
- April 7th, 2018
- Pediatric Dental Tips
Oral health care is a lifelong process. Even if you only experience dental service once or twice a year, you want a dentist who makes you feel comfortable. For many adults, a trip to the dentist office is a pain; for a child, it can be downright terrifying.
That’s why child dentistry is so important. Choosing a practice that’s equipped and geared toward little ones will establish dental care as something to look forward to. Here are a few ways you can make that first visit to Smile Town more pleasant for everyone, especially your child.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children should experience their first dental exam before age one. That’s usually when their first teeth have erupted and preventative care can begin. Explain to your child beforehand that their dentist is a friend who will help their teeth stay strong and healthy.
Starting a child at such a young age doesn’t just help prevent problems as their teeth develop. It also acclimates them to their care providers and an oral health routine that will grow with them. The dental office and staff will become familiar to them, reducing anxiety.
Young children are restless and have a difficult time adjusting to new routines or extended visits anywhere. Schedule your first appointment at a time of day when your child is more likely to be alert and in a cooperative mood. Early morning after breakfast or when they’ve finished their afternoon nap are ideal.
Check Out the Facility in Person
Not all dental practices are just for kids. Look for a dental office that’s not just child-friendly, but child-focused. That means the staff and care providers are experienced with handling behavioural issues, are trained to work with children who have special needs, and approach dental care in a manner that puts anxious patients at ease.
If possible, arrange a tour of several dental offices with your child. Let your child see the waiting and treatment areas, and talk to the dentist and staff. That way, you can enroll in the practice that makes both of you feel comfortable.
Nip Negativity in the Bud
Few things breed fear like preconceived notions and scary stories. Choose positive words to explain the process, and become mindful of your own attitude and descriptions about dentistry. Try to monitor what older siblings, friends, and relatives say about their own experiences. A mother’s potential anxiety towards dental treatment is the biggest predictor for a child’s anxiety.
Remember That Effective Care Begins at Home
Get your child set up with a regular oral health routine before their first dental visit. Choose healthy snacks and begin brushing shortly after their first teeth have erupted. Reading positive stories aimed at helping children understand what a dentist does can also prepare them for their first visit.
If you would like to book for your child for a dentist appointment, call us today at (877) 749-9981 or contact us here.