Naturally, the first dental appointment a child has can come with some anxiety. There are many ways to ease their nerves. Listed are several tips to help you prepare your child for their very first visit to the dentist.
Choosing a Pediatric Dentist
Pediatric dentists are dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teen years. They have the experience and qualifications to care for a child's teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood.
Talk Positively about their first trip to the Dentist
If your child is afraid of the dentist and they're feeling anxious about their first visit, let them know it's completely normal to be nervous about something they haven't done before. Offer plenty of positive reinforcement by praising them for being brave. Don't include too many details by keeping it simple. Let them know the dentist will count their teeth and make sure their teeth are healthy. They will also meet the Dental Hygienist that will "tickle" their teeth with a special toothbrush.
Role Play With Your Child
Role Playing can also help your child feel at ease. Create a make believe dental office and act out what will happen at the dentist. Pick a favorite stuffed animal and pretend to be the dentist. You can count and brush its teeth and talk through what you're doing and why oral hygiene is important.
Read Books about Going to the Dentist
Books are incredibly helpful in getting a child ready for life events, including a dentist visit. Here are a few to help you get started:
If your child has a favorite toy or stuffed animal, bring it with you. A beloved friend will help them feel secure and at ease.
Schedule the Appointment for the Right Time
Schedule your child's dentist appointment at a time when they're typically in a good mood. Younger children tend to do their best in the morning when they are fresh and full of energy. It's better to avoid late in the day or close to nap times.
By using these tips to prepare your child for their first dental visit, you can help them feel confident and ready. If you feel like your child needs a little more encouragement or if you have questions, please don't hesitate to reach out and we'll be more than happy to help. If it's time to schedule your child's first dental visit, book an appointment today by calling our office @ 281-232-7556.