Do you have a child or young loved one who is due to visit the dentist for the first time? Few things are more worrisome for a young child than going to the dentist. Buzzing drills, loud noises, and a stranger poking around in your mouth is enough to create a tense experience even for the bravest toddler. Even so, dental checkups are essential to any healthy smile. Read on for some helpful tips to ensure that your young loved one has a successful first trip to the dentist.
Get Excited About the Dentist
- Many children (and adults too) are apprehensive about the dentist. Studies have shown that parents can pass their dental anxiety on to their children. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of the dentist, don’t let it show. Try to avoid talking about any bad experiences and talk about the dentist in a positive way. Keep everything upbeat and try your best to be enthusiastic.
Introduce the Dentist
- Before your child visits the office, explain what they can expect to see and what will be done. Let them know that it is a safe place and that the dentist is there to help them stay healthy. Also, be sure to look at the practice’s website. Your child will feel more at ease after seeing the smiling faces of the dentists and staff members in the office.
Watch Videos or Read Books About the Dentist
- It can really help familiarize children with what to expect if they see their favorite cartoon or book character visiting the dentist. There are tons of videos and books about going to the dentist that children will love.
Play Pretend Dentist At Home
- Playing a pretend game of dentist can really help take away the mystery of the first visit. Dress up in costume and play make-believe with toothbrushes and floss. This is a great way to get a child to become comfortable and have fun at the same time.
Schedule the Appointment Wisely
- Be sure to schedule the appointment for a time when your child is in the best frame of mind. Scheduling during naptime or immediately after school may not be a great idea for the first visit. An ideal time would be after a nap or on a day off from school. This will help ensure that your child is in the best mood for their visit.
Try some of these tips to get your child ready for their first dental appointment and let us know what you think. We look forward to seeing your family at our Washington, DC location soon.