How To Prepare Your Child For The Dentist

Tips & Tricks For Child’s First Visit To The Dentist

Dental anxiety is common among children, and there’s nothing strange about that. Being in a new environment of any kind might be overstimulating for children, especially if that environment has a bunch of different scary-sounding tools.

However, dental hygiene is as important for kids as it is for adults and regular check-ups are a must. So, the sooner you start getting your child familiar with the dentist’s office, the better.

Some adults have traumatic childhood experiences with a dentist and pass that anxiety to their children. To overcome your fear of anything takes a lot of courage and a good reason for it. It’s the same with going to the dentist – and a great one will be with you every step of your fear-facing journey.

After you’re all good – you can plan on bringing your child to our office. To make sure the visit goes as smooth as possible, we compiled a few techniques that might help prepare your kid for the first visit.

Read More: How To Help Your Child Overcome Dental Anxiety?

Show Them Educational Videos

That will help them understand the importance of going to a dentist and how they are a part of a good dental routine. This way, they can understand what a dentist does and how helpful they are. Of course, make sure the videos are not too graphic and gruesome!

Read Books About The Dentist Together

Same as with videos, books are here to educate your kid on the importance of going to the dentist. There are many educational books for kids that have pictures describing what happens at our place. Seeing the process of an appointment drawn in a fun way can help ease their anxiety and prepare them for the visit.

Playing Dentist At Home

Simply recreate what you saw in the videos and books! That way you’re creating a positive atmosphere and getting the child familiar with what they might expect from their visit. Start the play by you pretending to be a dentist and switch. Talk through what you’re doing and make sure to explain why dental hygiene is important during the game.

Keep A Positive Attitude

Stay cheerful when talking about the dentist and don’t portray them as a punishment or the ‘bad guy’. Describe the routine of going for an appointment as something fun, useful and nice. Something that will help them in the future! That way you’re enforcing a positive attitude. If your child has something that soothes them – like a toy – feel free to bring it with you!

Take Your Kid With You On YOUR appointment

If you take your kid to your appointment, they will see how going to the dentist’s office is a normal thing that everyone does. Seeing you not being afraid and getting familiar with the environment and the staff will help them feel more relaxed when it’s time for their appointment.

Read More: When To Take Your Child To Their First Dentist Appointment

Time It Well

You know your child best and you know when they’re feeling most relaxed and are in a good mood. Try and schedule a visit on those days and after napping when they’re full of energy. Try and keep them in a good mood and avoid them feeling hungry or cranky.

After the visit, remind them how good it went  – there were no painful shots, you got prizes at the end, nothing hurt and the toothbrush tickled a bit!

Find A Family-friendly Dentist

This one is also very important. You want to avoid the child having a negative experience with their first visit because it can cause an aversion towards dentists and that certainly does not benefit their oral health. Find a family-friendly dentist that will make it possible for you guys to come and check out the place before your visit so the child can get familiar with the space and the staff. If you trust your dentist, so will your child.

Our team is fully trained in pediatric dentistry and will provide your kid with the best dental care possible!

Start Dental Visits As Early As Possible And Make Them A Routine

Based on your child’s teeth, you will decide when the right time is for a first-time visit. We usually recommend you bring your child within six months after the first tooth made an appearance. Either that or just after their first birthday.

Start brushing their teeth as soon as there’s something to brush! Create a family brushing routine and make them a part of the fun time that is preparing to go to bed and hearing a bedtime story!

Also, just because they have no teeth yet, babies need good oral health too. Before the teeth come in, you can wipe their gums twice a day with a soft, clean cloth twice a day. That way you’re getting rid of bacteria and sugars in their mouth.

The Takeaway

 

Preparing your child for their first visit can be scary for both you and the kid. However, with proper preparation techniques, you can help them feel confident about the whole thing and ready for the appointment. If you have any questions about getting your child ready for their first appointment, don’t hesitate to reach out!