It’s entirely understandable for parents to have some trepidation about a child’s first dental visit, just as they worry about a child’s first day at school or their first slumber party (and night away from home). As a parent, you always want to make sure your children are comfortable and happy.
You’ll find that your child’s dentist has the exact same goal, and likely has plenty of tips for how to plan and ensure a successful first visit to the dental office. Here are just a few tips that could help to make the experience positive.
Walk Through It
Kids always feel more comfortable when they know what to expect. You’ve probably noticed by now that your toddler likes to watch the same movie over and over again. Do you know why? It’s because there are no surprises – your child knows what’s coming. He/she is also learning.
Remember that everything is new to kids and they’re trying to figure out the best way to fit in and master needed skills. Preparation can therefore serve as an invaluable tool when it comes to any number of firsts in your child’s life, including a dental visit. Walk your child through the entire process so he/she knows just what to expect. It’s sure to make for a more enjoyable experience.
Discuss the Benefits
Your kids may want to know why they have to visit the dentist. You can explain to them the benefits of regular dental visits, as well as what could happen if they fail to go to the dentist. You don’t have to make the alternative too graphic or scary, but showing them that dental visits are beneficial can only help to create a positive attitude from the get-go.
Talk to Your Dentist
Dentists that work with children are well aware that new situations can be somewhat intimidating for kids, and they work hard to make sure both parents and children have the best possible experience and that they’re comfortable throughout. In some cases, this might mean having a first visit that doesn’t even involve a check-up, just to get a child familiar with the environment.
When you speak with your child’s dentist ahead of time, you can work together to come up with a game plan that works for everyone, including your child. This will help to ensure a good first visit, and many more to come.