A visit to any type of doctor might be scary for your little one. When it’s someplace new or a place they associate with pain, then it could be difficult to convince them to go back. For many young ones, however, their fear of the pediatric dentist lies in the unknown.
They don’t know what to expect, and this triggers their fear, but pediatric dentistry doesn’t have to be scary. Luckily, there are ways to help ease your little one’s dental anxiety. You can help prepare them for their first dentist appointment by following a few simple tips listed below.
When it’s time for your little one’s first kids’ dentist appointment, you’ll want to know all the best preparation advice. Continue reading to learn more!
Start Them at a Young Age
The sooner you take your child to the dentist, the more likely they are to feel comfortable. You can begin taking your child to the dentist as early as the toddler stages. Once your child grows their first tooth, you can contact a local dentist that practices dentistry for kids and schedule their first appointment.
If you bring them at a young age, they’ll be familiar with the office and the doctor and won’t have as much anxiety. It’s also beneficial for their little teeth to bring them in at a young age and start dental treatment early on.
Don’t forget to find a pediatric dentist for your child as this type of dental care is much different than general dental care. You want someone who’s trained to handle children’s dental procedures.
Read Children’s Books on Visiting the Dentist
Remember when you read your little one that book about becoming a big brother or sister? Remember when you read them a silly book about potty training? Why not read them a book on visiting the dentist as well?
You can find plenty of interesting children’s books on visiting the dentist. You might even be able to find some books with your child’s favorite characters in them.
These books teach your child that everyone visits the dentist (even their favorite characters), and it doesn’t have to be scary at all.
Use Positive Language and Get Excited
When you’re speaking about the dentist to or around your child, be sure to use positive language. Speak positively of the dentist and get excited for them. When they hear you speaking so greatly of the dentist how wonderful it’ll be to have clean and healthy teeth, your child will get excited as well.
You can even speak with your child about their upcoming appointment and ask them what they’re most excited about.
Explain to Them the Importance of It
It’s also essential to have a conversation with your child about the importance of visiting the dentist. Explain to them what dental health is and why it’s so important. They might get some brief insight into the subject after reading their book, but it’s always a good idea to go in more depth with them yourself.
You can teach them about cavities and other dental issues. What happens when you don’t brush or floss? Without healthy teeth, your little one might not be able to eat all their favorite foods. This is something else you may want to explain to them.
If you need guidance on the subject, then you can always contact their dentist and ask for more information.
Schedule a Morning Appointment
Another great piece of advice is to schedule your child’s appointment in the morning. This is ideal for the little ones as waiting until their nap time or later in the day when they might be hungry or tired could cause them to be cranky.
You want to bring your child in when they’re the most energized and happy. Think about it. You wouldn’t want to visit the dentist when you’re exhausted or hungry either.
To make it a pleasant trip for both you and your child, morning appointments are best.
Have Your Child Accompany You During Your Visits
Have you thought of letting your child accompany you during your own visits to the dentist? Although you might want to skip any major dental procedure appointments, you can take them with you for routine cleaning.
Allow them to watch you at the dentist. This may help them feel more comfortable and realize everything will be okay and there’s nothing to worry about. Give them a mentality of “if mom and dad can do it, then I can too!”
Schedule a Tour of the Office Beforehand
To help ease some anxiety, schedule a tour of the office beforehand. This gives you and your child time to meet the dentist and the staff. You can get a feel for the entire office and ask any questions you may have.
This way, when it’s the day of their first appointment, they’ll be familiar with the dentist, the staff, and the office. It won’t be walking into a completely new place with new faces and an entirely new experience altogether for your child.
Pediatric Dentistry Doesn’t Have to Be Scary
The idea of pediatric dentistry doesn’t have to be a scary one for neither you nor your child. If you believe your child may be having some dental anxiety, then be sure to try a few of these ideas with them.
Visiting the dentist should be a joyful experience for your little one. At Brentwood Pediatric Dentistry, we maintain a welcoming and safe environment for you and your child.
Contact us today to schedule the first appointment.